‘I look at him and he looks at me’

Stein’s phenomenological analysis of love

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Abstract

ABSTRACT
The Jewish-Catholic philosopher and Carmelite Edith Stein
(1891–1942) offers a rich notion of love, based on an original
phenomenology, which resulted from an active engagement
with her teachers Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler, and was
later enriched and deepened by incorporating religious philoso-
phical and theological ideas. In order to locate Stein’s original
thinking, the essay will first introduce the two thinkers by whom
she was most clearly influenced, and show how Stein contrasted
the ‘nothing’, as it is presented in Husserl’s other pupil Martin
Heidegger’s existentialist analysis, with the fullness of being to
which the human person aspires, and which is given through
love (1). Her phenomenological thinking, based on the intersub-
jective approach to its object, ultimately leads Stein to a triple
philosophical statement about love: Love is a principle of being, a
principle of knowledge and a principle of relationship (2). The
passage through theology verifies what has been said philosophi-
cally about its relationship to God, in whom love ultimately finds
its completion (3). The three basic principles of love complement
and correct each other, to the point not only of issuing in an
analysis of the phenomenon ‘love’ but of also opening up an
ethics of love (4).
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Pages (from-to)139–154
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophy andTheology
Volume78
Issue number1–2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2017

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Edmund Husserl
Philosopher
Max Scheler
Completion
Pupil
Theology
Carmelites
Thinkers
Deity
Person
Religion
Existentialist
Edith Stein

Keywords

  • Love
  • Edmund Husserl
  • Max Scheler
  • anthropology

Cite this

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abstract = "ABSTRACTThe Jewish-Catholic philosopher and Carmelite Edith Stein(1891–1942) offers a rich notion of love, based on an originalphenomenology, which resulted from an active engagementwith her teachers Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler, and waslater enriched and deepened by incorporating religious philoso-phical and theological ideas. In order to locate Stein’s originalthinking, the essay will first introduce the two thinkers by whomshe was most clearly influenced, and show how Stein contrastedthe ‘nothing’, as it is presented in Husserl’s other pupil MartinHeidegger’s existentialist analysis, with the fullness of being towhich the human person aspires, and which is given throughlove (1). Her phenomenological thinking, based on the intersub-jective approach to its object, ultimately leads Stein to a triplephilosophical statement about love: Love is a principle of being, aprinciple of knowledge and a principle of relationship (2). Thepassage through theology verifies what has been said philosophi-cally about its relationship to God, in whom love ultimately findsits completion (3). The three basic principles of love complementand correct each other, to the point not only of issuing in ananalysis of the phenomenon ‘love’ but of also opening up anethics of love (4).",
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‘I look at him and he looks at me’ : Stein’s phenomenological analysis of love. / Wulf, Mariéle.

In: International Journal of Philosophy andTheology, Vol. 78, No. 1–2, 9, 08.05.2017, p. 139–154.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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