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Lived Experience from the Inside Out
Social And Political Philosophy In Edith Stein
Antonio Calcagno

2014 • 247 pp. 6 x 9"
Social Philosophy / Phenomenology

$25.00 Paperback, 978-0-8207-0478-4

“The detail and care with which Calcagno presents the distinctive features of Stein’s pre- versus post-conversion work (as well as acknowledging the unity of her work) is a tremendous... [continued in Reviews below]”—International Philosophical Quarterly

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 stat

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.

Reviews / Endorsements

“The detail and care with which Calcagno presents the distinctive features of Stein’s pre- versus post-conversion work (as well as acknowledging the unity of her work) is a tremendous gift to the scholarly community . . . . Calcagno has certainly given us a work that will be required reading for any scholarship on Stein’s early texts as well as for any significant engagement with theories of empathy and intersubjectivity.”—International Philosophical Quarterly

“A thorough examination of the problem of sociality in Stein’s early work, which clearly shows the relevance of such work for current debate. . . . A very important resource for anyone who, first, is interested in the developments and the unity of Stein’s pre-conversion work on social philosophy and, secondly, is interested to reassess in detail the relevance of this work for contemporary questions.” —Human Studies

“Concentrating on a relatively neglected area of study, Calcagno . . . systematically explores the role of empathy, relations between subjects, the lived experience of community and the state for the construction of supra-subjective realities. Calcagno does a thorough job of pointing out the internal coherence of Stein’s theory of social and political reality, starting from individual lived experience. Overall, this is an important contribution to Stein scholarship and, more broadly, to the phenomenology of social and political life. Recommended.” —Choice

Antonio Calcagno is associate professor of philosophy at King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario, where he has been named to the Dean’s Honor Roll of Teaching Excellence four years in a row. He is the author of Badiou and Derrida: Politics, Events and Their Time; The Philosophy of Edith Stein; and Giordano Bruno and the Logic of Coincidence: Unity and Multiplicity in the Philosophical Thought of Giordano Bruno.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:41:07 -0500