Volume 4, Issue 1, Fall 2013
Selected Papers on The Legacy of Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being
The Wesen of Things, According to Reinach
In Edith Stein’s pinnacle work Finite and Eternal Being, she describes in a footnote that the act of bracketing (reduction) that Husserl committed to starting in Ideas—an act that separates fact from nature where only the aspect of essential being is considered—was the philosophic knife that severed phenomenology into idealist and realist factions. In opposition to Husserl’s approach, she writes, Adolf Reinach, Alexander Pfänder, Jean Hering, Hedwig Conrad-Martius, and others were instead “guided by the full meaning of the term nature, [and] became ever more confirmed in their realistic ways.” In this paper, I will describe what this full meaning of wesen is held by some of Husserl’s contemporaries and students and what it entails, specifically looking to how Reinach conceived it. This will include a discussion of phenomenological method, his views on the a priori, essences, and the laws that govern them, as well as an investigation into why Reinach felt reductions were dangerous and unnecessary for the intuition of essences and essential being.