Book | Chapter
Essential being and existential metaphysics
Edith Stein worked out the complex metaphysical notion of essential being (wesenhaftes Sein) against the backdrop of debates within phenomenology and Thomism. Both debates can be characterized as a back-and-forth between viewpoints that emphasize essence or existence as foundational for ontology. The existence versus essence debate characterizes the rift between Husserlian phenomenology and Heideggerian thought. A similar struggle took place between the Neo-Thomists, who emphasized Aquinas' allegiance to Aristotle (the essentialists), and those who argued for an existential interpretation of Thomas' metaphysics (the Existential Thomists). While seeking the perennial middle ground between phenomenology and Thomism, Stein steps over the false dilemma of existence or essence. The concept of essential being bears marks of influence from Husserl and Heidegger, Neo-Thomists and Existential Thomists.
Calcagno Antonio (2016) Edith Stein: women, social- political philosophy, theology, metaphysics and public history: New approaches and applications. Dordrecht, Springer.
Gricoski Thomas (2016) „Essential being and existential metaphysics“, In: A. Calcagno (ed.), Edith Stein: women, social- political philosophy, theology, metaphysics and public history, Dordrecht, Springer, 197–212.