Volume 92, Issue 4, Fall 2018
Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Moral Epistemology
The first part of the paper focuses on the elements of von Hildebrand’s general and moral epistemology that can be related to Brentano’s philosophy. The salient concepts discussed are those of Kenntnisnahme (taking cognizance) and Stellungnahme (response). I explain their meaning and show their role in von Hildebrand’s critical assessment of Brentano’s conception of the acts of higher (or correct) love and hate. In the second part of the paper, I argue that von Hildebrand’s material ethics is based on the basic ontological presupposition of Scheler’s material value ethics and that it is, therefore, to be considered a version of it, notwithstanding some quite basic differences from Scheler in other respects. In the third part of the paper, I discuss von Hildebrand’s most important analyses of the different epistemic acts through which values are given. The salient concepts are those of the seeing and feeling of values.