Scheler on the Twofold Source of Personal Uniqueness

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1):163-181 (2005)
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Abstract

There is a latent distinction in Scheler’s middle-period philosophical anthropology between personal uniqueness as divinely determined and as self-determined. The first dimension is more explicit; the second, a logical conclusion from Scheler’s notion of person as pure spirit. In the following study I will first thematize these two aspects of personal uniqueness. Then, I will explore Scheler’sidea that one gains knowledge of these aspects of a person through love. Here Scheler’s differentiation between love as intuitive and love as participative serves to justify and further explain the above distinction in personal uniqueness. Through intuitive love one is especially able to grasp the divinely determined dimension of another, her ideal and individual value essence. Through participative love one is especially able to grasp that dimension of another’s uniqueness which she herself forms through her own freedom

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