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Stein, Edith (1891–1942)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD101-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2015
Retrieved July 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Edith Stein was among the first women to earn a doctorate in philosophy in Germany, defending her dissertation in 1916. She worked as Edmund Husserl’s assistant and was deeply involved in the early phenomenological movement. Her later writings are marked by an interest in bringing phenomenology into conversation with contemporary science, classic medieval metaphysics and Carmelite spirituality. In her most mature philosophic works, Stein embraces the modern turn to the self, but argues that that turn, carried out fully, leads to classic metaphysical questions and classic categories, such as form, matter and transcendentals. These categories, for Stein, must nonetheless be reinterpreted in light of contemporary science and recent concerns for history and individuality.

Stein’s academic writings cover a large number of issues, including the nature of intersubjectivity, individuality and the state, women, educational theory, medieval metaphysics and figures such as Heidegger, Teresa of Avila and Pseudo-Dionysius. In addition to philosophic works, Stein also translated texts by Newman and Aquinas and wrote theological studies, short plays and an autobiography.

Citing this article:
Borden Sharkey, Sarah. Stein, Edith (1891–1942), 2015, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD101-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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