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Lived Experience from the Inside Out: The Social and Political Philosophy of Edith Stein
(2014)
  • Antonio Calcagno
Abstract
While most works devoted to Edith Stein’s philosophical legacy focus on her later, more explicitly Christian works, including Finite and Eternal Being, this comprehensive account offers readers a look into the early social and political philosophy of Stein before her conversion to Catholicism. During this period, Stein produced a significant body of philosophical work drawing on advancements in phenomenology, psychology, philosophy of mind, and sociology. As Antonio Calcagno demonstrates, this leads to a rich account of society, community, and the state through Stein’s analysis of certain states of mind, psychology, and a defense of a law-centered state community. Lived Experience from the Inside Out: Social and Political Philosophy in Edith Stein examines, in particular, three significant works written while Stein was working with Edmund Husserl as both a student and collaborator: The Problem of Empathy, Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities, and An Investigation Concerning the State. These texts provide rich sources of social and political insight, with Stein’s particular focus on individual consciousness as the entry point: how we understand and live, always from our own interiorities, the phenomenal experiences of self, others, the masses, society, community, and the state. While we can never completely transcend our own egos to experience others’ realities, Stein asserts that we share with others a common essence in that we are all human persons. Taking our lived experience from our interior lives to the outside world, then, confirms this shared essence as we exist in social relations, and those relations can be explored from overarching perspectives, including sociology, psychology, geography, economics, and the like. But Stein also notes that these relations can be explored from the perspective of our own lived experience, how we live and experience such phenomena. These social and political realities must have meaning for us, in our own interior lives. As Calcagno makes clear, it is at this level of sense that Stein’s unique contribution is most profound.
Keywords
  • Edith Stein,
  • Community,
  • State,
  • Society,
  • Consciousness,
  • Sense-Making
Disciplines
Publication Date
2014
Publisher
Duquesne University Press
Citation Information
Antonio Calcagno. Lived Experience from the Inside Out: The Social and Political Philosophy of Edith Stein. Pittsburgh(2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/antoniocalcagno/55/