Being Unfolded: Edith Stein on the Meaning of Being

by Thomas Gricoski
foreword William Desmond
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-0-8132-3258-4, eISBN: 978-0-8132-3259-1

ABOUT THIS BOOK
Being Unfolded responds to the question, ‘What is the meaning of being for Edith Stein.’ In Finite and Eternal Being Stein tentatively concludes that ‘being is the unfolding of meaning.’ Neither Stein nor her commentators have elaborated much on this suggestive phrase. Thomas Gricoski argues that Stein’s mature metaphysical project can be developed into an ‘ontology of unfolding.’ The differentiating factor of this ontology is its resistance to both existentialism and essentialism. The ‘ontology of unfolding’ is irreducibly relational.

Being Unfolded proceeds by testing a relational hypothesis against Stein’s theory of the modes of being (actual, essential, and mental being). From the phenomenological perspective, Gricoski examines Stein’s theory of the relation of consciousness and being. From the scholastic perspective, he examines Stein’s account of the relation of essence and existence in material being, living being, and human being. And from both perspectives he considers the relation of divine being to actual being and their essences. This book is limited to Stein’s theory of the meaning of being, without making an explicit confrontation with Heidegger. It offers two primary contributions to Stein studies: a systematic analysis of Stein’s modes of being, especially essential being, and an exposition and expansion of her overlooked concept of unfolding. Being Unfolded also contributes to the broader field of contemporary metaphysics by developing Stein’s theory of being as an experiment in fundamental ontology. While other relational ontologies focus on relations between beings, this exploration of unfolding examines being’s inner self-relationality.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page
Copyright
Dedication
Epigraph
Contents
Foreword
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction
One. Correlational Realism
Two. The Aporia of Being
Three. The Mode of Essential Being
Four. The Units of Meaning
Five. The Origin of Meaning
Six. The Mode of Actual Being
Seven. Matter and Meaning
Eight. Material Beings
Nine. The Mode of Mental Being
Ten. Unfolding, Analogy, and Transcendence
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

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