Volume 95, Issue 3, Summer 2021
Catholicism and Phenomenology
Mark K. Spencer
The Many Phenomenological Reductions and Catholic Metaphysical Anti-Reductionism
While all phenomenologists aim to grasp the “things themselves,” they disagree about the best method for doing this and about what the “things themselves” are. Many metaphysicians, especially Catholic realists, reject phenomenology altogether. I show that many phenomenological methods are useful for reaching the goals of both phenomenology and realist metaphysics. First, I present a history of phenomenological methods, including those used by Scheler, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Marion, Kearney, Rocha, and others. Next, I consider two sets of challenges raised to some of these methods. Finally, I outline how to join these methods with each other and with the methods of realist metaphysics, ultimately arriving at an aesthetic method, inspired by the work of von Balthasar, for considering fundamental phenomena.