Volume 4, Issue 1, Fall 2013
Selected Papers on The Legacy of Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being
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.