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Quaestiones Disputatae

Volume 4, Issue 1, Fall 2013

Selected Papers on The Legacy of Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being

Glenn Chicoine
Pages 31-44

Present Potential in Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being, Chapter Two

This paper follows the analysis from self to God in chapter two of Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being. It proposes and brings further to light the role she implies therein for the ‘real potential’ of the present moment and thereby uncovers key aspects of her analysis. The key aspects of Stein’s analysis, which elucidate the ‘real potential’ of the present moment, are (a) the potential at­tributable to the immediate self, (b) the potential in the world, or creaturely potential, which includes the potential attributable to the self-in-the-world, and (c) the pure potential that enables an ego-pole over against a world to exist whatsoever. This last potential correlates with “absolute being” in Stein’s sense, which includes essential being, and ultimately bridges temporality and Eternal Being. As Stein’s exposition suggests, only Divine Pure Act can actualize pure potential for there at all to be a self and world.

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