The presence of Duns Scotus in the thought of Edith Stein : the question of individuality

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Editorial team. Robert McNamara. Philosophical News 1 16 Throughout her entire philosophical corpus Edith Stein shows a concerted effort to reach a comprehensive understanding of the human being as individual. In this paper, I examine the question of how knowledge of the being-individual and qualitative individuality of the human being is attained, as it is found presented by Stein in her most mature philosophical work, Endliches und ewiges Sein.

Finally, I show in what way Stein maintains that the qualitative individuality of the human being, though humanly knowable, is uniquely determined in such a way that it is not conceptually graspable and humanly knowable, and, therefore, is something properly ineffable. Edith Stein in Continental Philosophy. The Self in Metaphysics. Theories of Personal Identity in Metaphysics. Thomas Aquinas in Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy. Edit this record. Mark as duplicate. Find it on Scholar. Request removal from index. He thought the latter possibility would degenerate mankind generally into scientists, workers and brutes, [78] living under the last mantle of one of three ideologies, Americanism , Marxism or Nazism [79] which he deemed metaphysically identical, as avatars of subjectivity and institutionalized nihilism , [80] and an unfettered totalitarian world technology.

He envisaged this abyss to be the greatest event in the West's history because it would enable Humanity to comprehend Being more profoundly and primordially than the Pre-Socratics. Recent scholarship has shown that Heidegger was substantially influenced by St. Augustine of Hippo and that Being and Time would not have been possible without the influence of Augustine's thought. Augustine's Confessions was particularly influential in shaping Heidegger's thought. Augustine viewed time as relative and subjective, and that being and time were bound up together.

Heidegger was influenced at an early age by Aristotle, mediated through Catholic theology , medieval philosophy and Franz Brentano. Although he later worked less on Aristotle, Heidegger recommended postponing reading Nietzsche, and to "first study Aristotle for ten to fifteen years".

Particularly important not least for its influence upon others, both in their interpretation of Aristotle and in rehabilitating a neo-Aristotelian "practical philosophy" [89] was his radical reinterpretation of Book Six of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and several books of the Metaphysics. Both informed the argument of Being and Time. Heidegger's thought is original in being an authentic retrieval of the past, a repetition of the possibilities handed down by the tradition.

The idea of asking about being may be traced back via Aristotle to Parmenides. Heidegger claimed to have revived the question of being, the question having been largely forgotten by the metaphysical tradition extending from Plato to Descartes , a forgetfulness extending to the Age of Enlightenment and then to modern science and technology. In pursuit of the retrieval of this question, Heidegger spent considerable time reflecting on ancient Greek thought , in particular on Plato, Parmenides , Heraclitus , and Anaximander, as well as on the tragic playwright Sophocles.

Heidegger's very early project of developing a "hermeneutics of factical life" and his hermeneutical transformation of phenomenology was influenced in part by his reading of the works of Wilhelm Dilthey. Of the influence of Dilthey, Hans-Georg Gadamer writes the following: "As far as Dilthey is concerned, we all know today what I have known for a long time: namely that it is a mistake to conclude on the basis of the citation in Being and Time that Dilthey was especially influential in the development of Heidegger's thinking in the mids.

This dating of the influence is much too late. Even though Gadamer's interpretation of Heidegger has been questioned, there is little doubt that Heidegger seized upon Dilthey's concept of hermeneutics. Heidegger's novel ideas about ontology required a gestalt formation, not merely a series of logical arguments, in order to demonstrate his fundamentally new paradigm of thinking, and the hermeneutic circle offered a new and powerful tool for the articulation and realization of these ideas. There is disagreement over the degree of influence that Edmund Husserl had on Heidegger's philosophical development, just as there is disagreement about the degree to which Heidegger's philosophy is grounded in phenomenology.

These disagreements centre upon how much of Husserlian phenomenology is contested by Heidegger, and how much this phenomenology in fact informs Heidegger's own understanding. On the relation between the two figures, Gadamer wrote: "When asked about phenomenology, Husserl was quite right to answer as he used to in the period directly after World War I: 'Phenomenology, that is me and Heidegger'. Heidegger himself, who is supposed to have broken with Husserl, bases his hermeneutics on an account of time that not only parallels Husserl's account in many ways but seems to have been arrived at through the same phenomenological method as was used by Husserl The differences between Husserl and Heidegger are significant, but if we do not see how much it is the case that Husserlian phenomenology provides the framework for Heidegger's approach, we will not be able to appreciate the exact nature of Heidegger's project in Being and Time or why he left it unfinished.

Daniel O. Dahlstrom saw Heidegger's presentation of his work as a departure from Husserl as unfairly misrepresenting Husserl's own work.

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Dahlstrom concluded his consideration of the relation between Heidegger and Husserl as follows:. Heidegger's silence about the stark similarities between his account of temporality and Husserl's investigation of internal time-consciousness contributes to a misrepresentation of Husserl's account of intentionality. Contrary to the criticisms Heidegger advances in his lectures, intentionality and, by implication, the meaning of 'to be' in the final analysis is not construed by Husserl as sheer presence be it the presence of a fact or object, act or event.

Yet for all its "dangerous closeness" to what Heidegger understands by temporality, Husserl's account of internal time-consciousness does differ fundamentally. In Husserl's account the structure of protentions is accorded neither the finitude nor the primacy that Heidegger claims are central to the original future of ecstatic-horizonal temporality.

Patricia J. Huntington claims that Heidegger's book Being and Time continued Kierkegaard's existential goal. Nevertheless, she argues that Heidegger began to distance himself from any existentialist thought. Kierkegaard is primarily concerned with existence as it is experienced in man's concrete ethico-religious situation. Heidegger is interested in deriving an ontological analysis of man. But as Heidegger's ontological and existentialist descriptions can arise only from ontic and existential experience, so Kierkegaard's ontic and existential elucidations express an implicit ontology.

The lectures on Nietzsche focused on fragments posthumously published under the title The Will to Power , rather than on Nietzsche's published works. Heidegger read The Will to Power as the culminating expression of Western metaphysics, and the lectures are a kind of dialogue between the two thinkers. Adorno, on the other hand, pointed to the dialectic reflection of historical situations, the sociological interpretations of future outcomes, and therefore opposed the liberating principles of intuitive concepts because they negatively surpassed the perception of societal realities.

Some writers on Heidegger's work see possibilities within it for dialogue with traditions of thought outside of Western philosophy, particularly East Asian thinking. Reinhard May refers to Chang Chung-Yuan who stated "Heidegger is the only Western Philosopher who not only intellectually understands Tao, but has intuitively experienced the essence of it as well. It can be shown, moreover, that in particular instances Heidegger even appropriated wholesale and almost verbatim major ideas from the German translations of Daoist and Zen Buddhist classics.

Heidegger has been influential in research on the relationship between Western philosophy and the history of ideas in Islam , [] particularly for some scholars interested in Arabic philosophical medieval sources. These include the Lebanese philosopher and architectural theorist Nader El-Bizri , [] who, as well as focusing on the critique of the history of metaphysics as an 'Arab Heideggerian' , also moves towards rethinking the notion of "dwelling" in the epoch of the modern unfolding of the essence of technology and Gestell , [] and realizing what can be described as a "confluence of Western and Eastern thought" as well.

It is also claimed that the works of counter-enlightenment philosophers such as Heidegger, along with Friedrich Nietzsche and Joseph de Maistre , influenced Iran's Shia Islamist scholars, notably Ali Shariati. A clearer impact of Heidegger in Iran is associated with thinkers such as Reza Davari Ardakani , Ahmad Fardid , and Fardid's student Jalal Al-e-Ahmad , [] who have been closely associated with the unfolding of philosophical thinking in a Muslim modern theological legacy in Iran.

This included the construction of the ideological foundations of the Iranian Revolution and modern political Islam in its connections with theology. Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, Heidegger was elected rector of the University of Freiburg on April 21, , and assumed the position the following day. On May 1, he joined the Nazi Party.

On 27 May , Heidegger delivered his inaugural address, the Rektoratsrede , "The Self-assertion of the German University" in a hall decorated with swastikas, with members of the Sturmabteilung and prominent Nazi Party officials present. His tenure as rector was fraught with difficulties from the outset.

Some Nazi education officials viewed him as a rival, while others saw his efforts as comical. Some of Heidegger's fellow Nazis also ridiculed his philosophical writings as gibberish. He finally offered his resignation on 23 April , and it was accepted on 27 April. Heidegger remained a member of both the academic faculty and of the Nazi Party until the end of the war. Though as rector he prevented students from displaying an anti-Semitic poster at the entrance to the university and from holding a book burning, he kept in close contact with the Nazi student leaders and clearly signaled to them his sympathy with their activism.

In , Heidegger wrote of his term as rector, giving the writing to his son Hermann; it was published in The rectorate was an attempt to see something in the movement that had come to power, beyond all its failings and crudeness, that was much more far-reaching and that could perhaps one day bring a concentration on the Germans' Western historical essence. It will in no way be denied that at the time I believed in such possibilities and for that reason renounced the actual vocation of thinking in favor of being effective in an official capacity.

In no way will what was caused by my own inadequacy in office be played down. But these points of view do not capture what is essential and what moved me to accept the rectorate. Beginning in , German-Jewish philosopher Edmund Husserl championed Heidegger's work, and helped him secure the retiring Husserl's chair in Philosophy at the University of Freiburg.

On 6 April , the Reichskommissar of Baden Province, Robert Wagner, suspended all Jewish government employees, including present and retired faculty at the University of Freiburg. Heidegger's predecessor as Rector formally notified Husserl of his "enforced leave of absence" on 14 April Heidegger became Rector of the University of Freiburg on 22 April The following week the national Reich law of 28 April , replaced Reichskommissar Wagner's decree.

The Reich law required the firing of Jewish professors from German universities, including those, such as Husserl, who had converted to Christianity. The termination of the retired professor Husserl's academic privileges thus did not involve any specific action on Heidegger's part. Heidegger had by then broken off contact with Husserl, other than through intermediaries.

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Heidegger later claimed that his relationship with Husserl had already become strained after Husserl publicly "settled accounts" with Heidegger and Max Scheler in the early s. Heidegger did not attend his former mentor's cremation in In , under pressure from publisher Max Niemeyer, Heidegger agreed to remove the dedication to Husserl from Being and Time restored in post-war editions. Heidegger's behavior towards Husserl has evoked controversy. Arendt initially suggested that Heidegger's behavior precipitated Husserl's death. She called Heidegger a "potential murderer.

In , only a year after Husserl's death, Heidegger wrote in his Black Notebooks : "The more original and inceptive the coming decisions and questions become, the more inaccessible will they remain to this [Jewish] 'race'. After the failure of Heidegger's rectorship, he withdrew from most political activity, but remained a member of the Nazi Party. However, it subsequently transpired that this qualification had not been made during the original lecture, although Heidegger claimed that it had been.

This has led scholars to argue that Heidegger still supported the Nazi party in but that he did not want to admit this after the war, and so he attempted to silently correct his earlier statement. In private notes written in , Heidegger took a strongly critical view of Hitler's ideology; [] however, in public lectures, he seems to have continued to make ambiguous comments which, if they expressed criticism of the regime, did so only in the context of praising its ideals. For instance, in a lecture, published posthumously, Heidegger said of recent German classics scholarship:.

In the majority of "research results," the Greeks appear as pure National Socialists. This overenthusiasm on the part of academics seems not even to notice that with such "results" it does National Socialism and its historical uniqueness no service at all, not that it needs this anyhow. Heidegger's former lover Arendt spoke on his behalf at this hearing, while Jaspers spoke against him.

One consequence of this teaching ban was that Heidegger began to engage far more in the French philosophical scene. In his postwar thinking, Heidegger distanced himself from Nazism, but his critical comments about Nazism seem "scandalous" to some since they tend to equate the Nazi war atrocities with other inhumane practices related to rationalisation and industrialisation , including the treatment of animals by factory farming.

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For instance in a lecture delivered at Bremen in , Heidegger said: "Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs. In Heidegger met with the Jewish poet Paul Celan , a concentration camp survivor.

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Celan visited Heidegger at his country retreat and wrote an enigmatic poem about the meeting, which some interpret as Celan's wish for Heidegger to apologize for his behavior during the Nazi era. On 23 September , Heidegger was interviewed by Rudolf Augstein and Georg Wolff for Der Spiegel magazine, in which he agreed to discuss his political past provided that the interview be published posthumously. It was published five days after his death, on 31 May Second, he admitted that he saw an "awakening" Aufbruch which might help to find a "new national and social approach," but said that he changed his mind about this in , largely prompted by the violence of the Night of the Long Knives.

In his interview Heidegger defended as double-speak his lecture describing the "inner truth and greatness of this movement. However, Heidegger asserted that his dedicated students would know this statement was no eulogy for the Nazi Party. Rather, he meant it as he expressed it in the parenthetical clarification later added to Introduction to Metaphysics , namely, "the confrontation of planetary technology and modern humanity. The Der Spiegel interviewers did not bring up Heidegger's quotation comparing the industrialization of agriculture to the extermination camps.

In fact, the interviewers were not in possession of much of the evidence now known for Heidegger's Nazi sympathies. Heidegger was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, and his ideas have penetrated into many areas, but in France there is a very long and particular history of reading and interpreting his work which in itself resulted in deepening the impact of his thought in Continental Philosophy. Heidegger's influence on French philosophy began in the s, when Being and Time , "What is Metaphysics?

The influence of Heidegger on Sartre's Being and Nothingness is marked, but Heidegger felt that Sartre had misread his work, as he argued in later texts such as the " Letter on Humanism ". In that text, intended for a French audience, Heidegger explained this misreading in the following terms:. Sartre's key proposition about the priority of existentia over essentia [that is, Sartre's statement that "existence precedes essence"] does, however, justify using the name "existentialism" as an appropriate title for a philosophy of this sort.

But the basic tenet of "existentialism" has nothing at all in common with the statement from Being and Time [that "the 'essence' of Dasein lies in its existence"]—apart from the fact that in Being and Time no statement about the relation of essentia and existentia can yet be expressed, since there it is still a question of preparing something precursory.

Aside from merely disputing readings of his own work, however, in the "Letter on Humanism" Heidegger asserts that "Every humanism is either grounded in a metaphysics or is itself made to be the ground of one. After the war, Heidegger was banned from university teaching for a period on account of his support of Nazism while serving as Rector of Freiburg University. Deconstruction came to Heidegger's attention in by way of Lucien Braun's recommendation of Jacques Derrida 's work Hans-Georg Gadamer was present at an initial discussion and indicated to Heidegger that Derrida's work came to his attention by way of an assistant. Heidegger expressed interest in meeting Derrida personally after the latter sent him some of his work. There was discussion of a meeting in , but this failed to take place. Braun also brought to Heidegger's attention the work of Michel Foucault. Foucault's relation to Heidegger is a matter of considerable difficulty; Foucault acknowledged Heidegger as a philosopher whom he read but never wrote about.

Derrida attempted to displace the understanding of Heidegger's work that had been prevalent in France from the period of the ban against Heidegger teaching in German universities, which amounted to an almost wholesale rejection of the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialist terms. According to Derrida, Sartre's interpretation of Dasein and other key Heideggerian concerns is overly psychologistic, anthropocentric, and misses the historicality central to Dasein in Being and Time.

These debates included the question of whether it was possible to do without Heidegger's philosophy, a position which Derrida in particular rejected. More recently, Heidegger's thought has influenced the work of the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler. This is evident even from the title of Stiegler's multi-volume magnum opus , La technique et le temps volume one translated into English as Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus.

Stiegler understands the existential analytic of Being and Time as an account of psychic individuation , and his later "history of being" as an account of collective individuation. He understands many of the problems of Heidegger's philosophy and politics as the consequence of Heidegger's inability to integrate the two. Heidegger has been very influential on the work of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben.

Agamben attended seminars in France led by Heidegger in the late s. Heidegger's influence upon 20th century continental philosophy is unquestioned and has produced a variety of critical responses. According to Husserl, Being and Time claimed to deal with ontology but only did so in the first few pages of the book. Having nothing further to contribute to an ontology independent of human existence, Heidegger changed the topic to Dasein. Whereas Heidegger argued that the question of human existence is central to the pursuit of the question of being, Husserl criticized this as reducing phenomenology to "philosophical anthropology" and offering an abstract and incorrect portrait of the human being.

The Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer and Heidegger engaged in an influential debate located in Davos in , concerning the significance of Kantian notions of freedom and rationality see Cassirer—Heidegger debate. Whereas Cassirer defended the role of rationality in Kant , Heidegger argued for the priority of the imagination. Stuttgart Initially members of the Frankfurt School were positively disposed to Heidegger, becoming more critical at the beginning of the s. Heidegger's student Herbert Marcuse became associated with the Frankfurt School.

Initially striving for a synthesis between Hegelian Marxism and Heidegger's phenomenology, Marcuse later rejected Heidegger's thought for its "false concreteness" and "revolutionary conservativism. Contemporary social theorists associated with the Frankfurt School have remained largely critical of Heidegger's works and influence. However, work by philosopher and critical theorist Nikolas Kompridis tries to show that Heidegger's insights into world disclosure are badly misunderstood and mishandled by Habermas, and are of vital importance for critical theory, offering an important way of renewing that tradition.

Criticism of Heidegger's philosophy has also come from analytic philosophy , beginning with logical positivism. In "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language" , Rudolf Carnap accused Heidegger of offering an "illusory" ontology, criticizing him for committing the fallacy of reification and for wrongly dismissing the logical treatment of language which, according to Carnap, can only lead to writing "nonsensical pseudo-propositions. The British logical positivist A.

Ayer was strongly critical of Heidegger's philosophy. In Ayer's view, Heidegger proposed vast, overarching theories regarding existence, which are completely unverifiable through empirical demonstration and logical analysis. For Ayer, this sort of philosophy was a poisonous strain in modern thought. He considered Heidegger to be the worst example of such philosophy, which Ayer believed to be entirely useless. Bertrand Russell considered Heidegger an obscurantist , writing,.

Scotus could not agree with this position as it does not do sufficient justice to human freedom. His account of the will is voluntaristic: the will is a radically free, self-determining cause, and superior to the intellect. Thomas was one of its most formidable opponents. Thus, he had his own interpretation of the Eucharist. The Fourth Lateran Council, held in , taught that in the Eucharist bread and wine are transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ.

The Schoolmen understood this to mean that the substance of the consecrated bread and wine no longer exists, while the accidents of the bread and wine remain. Accidents are the non-essential properties of quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action, and passion.

Thomas, Scotus holds that there is no pressing theological reason for accepting the concept of transubstantiation. In his view, it is simpler and easier to understand, since it does not involve the claim that, despite appearances, the substance of the bread has changed; moreover, it is more scriptural. Despite its intrinsic undesirability, however, Scotus believes that the doctrine of transubstantiation is true. His reason is that it was taught by the Roman Catholic Church. Scotus was a loyal son of the Church.

Thomas wrote that after the consecration of the bread into the Body of Christ, or of the wine into His Blood, the dimensions of the bread or wine are not changed into the dimensions of the Body of Christ, but substance into substance, in accordance with the doctrine of transubstantiation. The place and the object placed must be equal, as Aristotle states. However, the place of this Sacrament is much less than the Body of Christ. The various parts of His Body are not distant from each other 7. His argument is that the parts of a human body should be physically extended, distant from each other.

How can this be true if His Body is considerably larger than the quantity of the consecrated bread? To answer this point, Scotus uses his own two terms that, in his view, correspond to the Aristotelian category of place: ubietas and locus. Both ubietas , ubiety, and locus , position, are relations. A body has ubiety when it is enclosed by the surface of a surrounding body.

It has position when its parts correspond to the parts of the surface of the surrounding body. However, there is a breakdown in the relation between the different parts of His Body and the parts that contain His Body. Rather, His whole Body is present to each part of its place. His Body must be spatially extended, as natural bodies are 8. One could say that Scotus has drastically revised the accidents of quantity, place and position. The Pope praised the great achievements of all Scholastic Doctors, but mentioned only St. Bonaventura, St. Thomas, St.

Dominic and St.

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Albert the Great by name. Later Popes, however, explicitly praised Scotus. Thomas, he wanted to commemorate other great doctors of the Middle Ages, such as Scotus section On 15 November , the Pope visited the tomb of Scotus in Cologne. On 6 July , the age-old public cultus of Blessed Scotus was officially recognised by the Church. On this occasion, he reminded his audience that Scotus had been called Blessed from almost the day after his death.

The Pope went on to say that this cultus had been recognised in , and that he would today formally confirm this recognition of Blessed Scotus.