Volume 87, Issue 3, Summer 2013
William E. Tullius
Haecceitas as Value and as Moral Horizon
A Scotist Contribution to the Project of a Phenomenological Ethics
This paper seeks to provide a phenomenological articulation of the Scotist notion of haecceitas, interpreting Scotus’s principle of individuation at once as an ontological as well as a moral principle. Growing out of certain suggestions made by James Hart in his Who One Is, this interpretation is meant to provide the phenomenological ethics of both Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler with a useful theoretical tool in the Scotist notion of haecceitas interpreted as a horizon of value in order more fully to develop the phenomenological idea of the ethical life as a task that specifically seeks to realize as its highest goal the vocation of the person to his or her ideal, true self. The main implication of Scotus’s thought, here, for phenomenology will be the ability to further delimit haecceitas as an objective moral principle that refutes the frequent charge of relativistic subjectivism in the phenomenological theory of ethics.