Volume 4, 2011
Selected Essays from Northern Europe
Beginning to Read Stein's Finite and Eternal Being
Stein called Finite and Eternal Being her ‘spiritual legacy’. The access to this legacy has been restricted by the difficulty of assessing exactly what it is that Stein is doing in the work. It has been regarded as a work of Thomist philosophy, but a closer reading reveals it as quite critical of St Thomas. After the publication of the appendices of the work, it has become fairly clear that it can be conceived as a critique of the early Heidegger. Stein understood her task as being that of bringing together Aristotelian and Modern philosophy, the latter represented by Phenomenology and the former by Scholasticism. We shall propose (the beginnings of ) an interpretation of the work that sees it as the culmination of Stein’s phenomenological project, as well as a work standing in the tradition of the philosophia perennis.