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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

Timothy Martell
Pages 121-131

Person and Community in Stein’s Critique of Heidegger’s Existential Philosophy

Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being: an Attempt at an Ascent to the Meaning of Being is profoundly influenced by her early work as a phenomenologist. Nowhere is this more apparent than in her critique of Heidegger’s existential philosophy. On the basis of her early phenomenological research, Stein is able to identify a number of shortcomings in Heidegger’s analysis of the human way of being, including that it fails to clarify what it is to be a person, fails to clarify what it is for a number of persons to be in community with one another, and mistakenly suggests that being in community with other persons is predominantly a way of fleeing from responsibility. Stein concludes that Heidegger’s analysis, though often insightful, caricatures the human way of being. In this paper, I present relevant parts of Stein’s early phenomenological studies of the person and community and show how they support her conclusion regarding Heidegger’s existential philosophy.