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Life and Human Life in Max Scheler

Phenomenological Problems of Identification and Individualization
  • Daniela Verducci
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 60)

Abstract

It should not be surprising for us that Max Scheler’s philosophy, starting as a Wertkritik des Bewusstsein 1 had by 1922 turned into a “meta-anthropology and metaphysics of the act”2 that transformed his early, traditionally theistic tendency, into the in fieri theism of the last works.3 It is necessary to remember that Scheler acquires the phenomenological attitude (Einstellung) — as he defined the new philosophical method introduced by Husserl4 — from a problematic base which, besides Eucken and Meinong, was also influenced by the relationship with Dilthey who gave it a vitalistic and anthropological orientation, as Husserl himself once remarked.5

Keywords

Phenomenological Method Philosophical Anthropology Theistic Tendency Life Sphere Phenomenological Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    M. Scheler, Beiträge zur Feststellung der Beziehungen zwischen den logischen und den ethischen Prinzipien,in Gesammelte Werke (henceforward GW), 1, “Frühe Schriften,” Francke Verlag, Bern-München, 1971, pp. 12, 14.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    ID. Philosophische Weltanschauung,in GW 9, “Späte Schriften,” 1975, pp. 82–83.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ID. Die Formen des Wissens und die Bildung,GW 9, p. 102, note 1: “Der allweise, allgütige und allmächtige Gott des Theismus steht uns am Ende des göttlichen Werdeprozesses — nicht am Anfang des Weltprozesses.” See also the renunciation of traditional theism expressed in the Preface to the third edition of Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik,in GW 2, 1954, p. 17.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ID. Phänomenologie und Erkenntnistheorie,GW 10, “Schriften aus dem Nachlass,” I, “Zur Ethik und Erkenntnislehre,” 1975, p. 380.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See E. Husserl, “Brief an Dorion Cairns,” in Edmund Husserl 1859–1959, The Hague 1959, p. 285 where Husserl underlines the extraphenomenological outcome of his early pupils’ philosophy, who had fallen back into realism or anthropology or new systems or anyhow had abandoned the radicalism which was essential to phenomenology. This also took place as a consequence of Dilthey’s Lebensphilosophie (see Husserl’s lecture at the Frankfurt Kantgesellschaft of 1931 in M. Heidegger Phänomenologie und Anthropologie“Philosophy and Phenomenological Research,” Vol. II, 1941, p. 1). See also what Scheler says in the Zusätze to Deutsche Philosophie der Gegenwartin GW 7, 1979, pp. 328–329.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    On the subject, see the pages in Erkenntnis und Arbeit where Scheler underlines Dilthey’s non-radical analyses of the experience of resistance where there is no feeling for the metaphysical significance of the phenomenon (M. Scheler, GW 8, “Die Wissensformen und die Gesellschaft,” 1960, pp. 364–371). Previously Scheler had instead appreciated Dilthey’s attempt at a Lebensphilosophie. ID, Versuche einer Philosophie des Lebens,in GW 3, “Vom Umsturz der Werte,” 1955, pp. 318–323.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ibid.,p. 314.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ibid.,p. 339.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid.,p. 313.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Scheler, Die Stellung des Menschen im Kosmos,GW 9, pp. 54–55.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Heidegger Gesamtausgabe3, Frankfurt a. M. 1991, p. 212: “Die Idee der philosophischen Anthropologie ist nicht nur nicht hinreichend bestimmt, ihre Funktion im Ganzen der Philosophie bleibt ungeklart und unentschieden.” For the different aspects of the Streitgespräch that Scheler and Heidegger investigated with respect to anthropological themes, see: M. Bonola Heidegger e Scheler: il mondo l’uomo e il problema dell’essenzain Aut-aut1984, N. 199–200, pp. 39–55. A fundamental opposition between the two thinkers is pointed out by M. Theunissen, “Wetterstum und Stille. Über die Weltdeutung Schelers und ihr Verhältnis zum Seinsdenken,” in Max Scheler im Gegenwartsgeschehen der Philosophieed. by P. Good, Francke, Bern-München, 1975, from p. 92. H. G. Gadamer gives more attention to the elements of contiguity in Max Scheler — Der Verschwender ibid.pp. 16–17.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Now in GW 3, p. 194.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ibid.,p. 186.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid.,p. 195.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Heidegger Sein und Zeit in Gesamtausgabe2, 1977. In particular, the phrase “die Substanz der Menschen ist die Existenz” can be found at p. 281, par. 43. Besides: ID. Kant und das Problem der Metaphysikin GA, 3, 1991, p. 229. See: W. Schulz Philosophie in der veränderte WeltPfüllingen, 1972, p. 295.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Scheler Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale WertethikGW 2, p. 17.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid.,pp. 395–396.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    According to Scheler, the essential nucleus of the volume is constituted by the lecture Die Sonderstellung des Menschengiven in Darmstadt in April 1927 and published in Der Leuchter (Darmstadt, VIII, 1927, pp. 161–254). The text Die Stellung des Menschen im Kosmos appeared just before the death of the author (Darmstadt, Reichl, 1928) and can be now found in GW 9, pp. 7–71.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    See Scheler Zusätze zur Deutsche Philosophie der Gegenwartp. 327, where some of the peculiarities of the investigation carried out with a phenomenological attitude are described.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    ID., Der Formalismus,pp. 267–270. As for Hegel’s interpretation, see ID., Vom Ewigen im Menschen. Probleme der Religion,GW 5, 1954, p. 196 and note (1).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    ID., Der Formalismus,p. 261.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    In the Preface to Zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Sympathiegefühle und von Liebe und Hass (1912) Scheler maintains that the investigation of the phenomena of emotional life “has matured in a wider area of research directed to supply philosophical ethics with a phenomenological foundation,” since at the moment it suffers from “unsatisfactory meaning and classification” of the experiences of the affective dimension (now in: Wesen und Formen der Sympathie,GW 7, 1973, p. 9). The reference to Mikrocosmos (1,5) by H. Lotze and Scheler’s intention to start a series of investigations on emotional life gathered in the series Die Sinngesetze des emotionalen Leben appear instead in the preface to Wesen und Formen der Sympathie dated 1922 (p. 10).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid.,p. 45. In the 2nd edition of the work on sympathy (1923) Scheler devotes a whole paragraph (A II, 4) to the phenomenon of unipathy (Einsfühlung),underlining in the Preface that it was only at a later stage that he realized the importance of this process of affective self-identification (ibid.,p. 11).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid.,p. 47.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid.,pp. 83–84.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ibid.,pp. 84–85.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ibid.,See also sections VI and VII, “The Foundation Laws of Sympathy” and “The Cooperation of Sympathetic Functions” where the basic character of the unipathy function is manifested, on which are founded (from the point of view of the living experience) all the other affective dynamics from sympathy to philanthropy, to the love for persons and God (ibid.,pp. 105–111 and 111–137).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ibid.,pp. 221–222.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Scheler, “Vom Wesen der Philosophie und der moralischen Bedingungen des philosophischen Erkennens,” in: Vom Ewigen im Menschen,pp. 83–92.Google Scholar
  30. o ID., Der Formalismus,p. 43.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    ID., Vom Ewigen im Menschen. Probleme der Religion,p. 216.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    ID., Der Formalismus,p. 137.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ibid.,p. 149 and p. 150, note (1).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    ID., Vom Ewigen im Menschen,p. 216.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    ID., Vom Wesen der Philosophie and ID., Die Stellung, p. 42. See also our “La phénoménologie de la vie et la philosophie selon Max Scheler,” in Analecta Husserliana, Vol. L, 1997, pp. 165–180.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    ID., Die Stellung,p. 42.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ibid.,p. 43.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ibid.,p. 44.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Scheler, Erkenntnis und Arbeit,in: GW 8, Die Wissensformen und die Gesellschaft,1960, p. 360. Also: ID., Philosophische Weltanschauung,p. 81.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    ID., Die Stellung,pp. 63–64.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    ID., Sympathie,pp. 85–86.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ibid.,p. 151.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ibid.,p. 152.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Ibid.,p. 156.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Ibid.,pp. 156–157.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Ibid.,p. 160.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ibid.,p. 162.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    ID., Probleme einer Soziologie des Wissens,in: GW 8, p. 65. See our Meravigliae disincanto nel pensiero di Max Scheler,in “Interpretazione e meraviglia,” Atti del XIV Colloquio sulla interpretazione, Macerata 1994, pp. 53–64.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    ID., Probleme einer Soziologie des Wissens,pp. 65–66.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    ID., Erkenntnis und Arbeit,pp. 345–376.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    See ID., Liebe und Erkenntnis,1915, now in GW 6, Schriften zur Soziologie und Weltanschauungslehre,1963, pp. 99–115 and ID., Ordo amoris,published posthumously, now in GW 10, pp. 345–377.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    ID., Die Stellung,p. 54: “Geist und Wollen des Menschen kann - ich sagte es - nie mehr bedeuten als Leitung und Lenkung. Und das bedeutet immer nur, dass der Geist als solcher den Triebmächten Ideen vorhält, und das Wollen den Triebimpulsen - die schon vorhanden sein mössen - solche Vorstellung zuwendet oder entzieht, die die Verwirklichung dieser Ideen konkretisieren konnen.”Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Ibid.,p. 62.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Scheler, Erkenntnis und Arbeit,p. 204.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Ibid.,p. 203.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Ibid.,p. 204.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    In his last years Scheler maintains more and more strongly the possibility of a dynamic metaphysics where not merely the co-existence of the two entities of spirit and life may occur, but even their interpenetration (Durchdringung) (ID., Die Stellung,pp. 55–56). In this way, by representing spirit and life - the two attributes that we can know of the foundation of all things - as acts, as the Manuskripte zur Lehre vom Gründe aller Dinge confirm (in GW 11, Schriften aus dem Nachlass II. Erkenntnislehre und Metaphysik,1979, pp. 185–222, and in particular pp. 212–222), Scheler investigates from a dynamic point of view Spinoza’s metaphysics, which he had denounced as static and excessively intellectualistic in the talk he had given in Amsterdam for the 250th anniversary of Spinoza’s death (ID., Spinoza,in GW 9, pp. 171–182). Anyhow in Scheler’s thinking, the destiny of the two attributes is to fuse into one identity, although functional and in progress (ID., Erkenntnis und Arbeit,p. 360). On this subject see our Lavoro e Filosofia in Max Scheler. Un itinerario del pensiero,Introduction to Max Scheler, Lovoro ed Etica. Saggio di filosofia pratica. A cura di D. Verducci, Roma, Città Nuova Editrice, 1997, pp. 5–44/51–105.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Scheler, Die Stellung,p. 11.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Ibid.,p. 13: “Lebewesenchrw(133) ein Fürsich und Innesein besitzen, in dem sie sich selber inne werden.”Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Ibid.,p. 35: “Jede anorganische Körpereinheit ist es nur relativ auf eine bestimmte Gesetzlichkeit ihres Wirkens auf andere Körper.”Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Ibid.,p. 36.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Ibid., p. 36.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Ibid.,p. 31.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Ibid.,p. 32.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Ibid.,p. 31: “... es ist ein allem und jedem Leben überhaupt, auch dem Leben im Menschen entgegengesetzes Prinzip.”Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Ibid.,p. 32.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Ibid.,p. 35: “der prinzipiellen Abschüttelung des Umweltbannes.” See also: Scheler, Rand und Textbemerkungen in ‘Sein und Zeit’ (1927), in GW 9, pp. 305–340. On page 322, Scheler says: “Welt ist erschlossen in der Abstellung des Widerstand findenden Tiebes.” On this, see M. Bonola, Heidegger e Schelerchrw(133),pp. 44–46.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Scheler, Die Stellung,p. 55.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    ID.,Sympathie,p. 241.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Ibid.,p. 242.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Ibid.,p. 241. See also the references to the process of functionalization of ideas and values as instruments for the growth of the spirit contained in Vom Ewingen im Menschen. Probleme der Religion,p. 198.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Scheler, Sympathie,p. 239.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Ibid.,p. 240. A metaphysical topos common to both the recent personalism of Maine de Biran, Renouvier, Blondel and Mounier and the most ancient cosmology of Anaxagoras, Democritus, Epicurus, as well as the more modern Descartes of the Principia philosophiae. 70. Ibid.,p. 222.Google Scholar
  74. 75.
    Scheler, Idealismus-Realismus,GW 9, pp. 187–241.Google Scholar
  75. 76.
    We are referring here to the phrase “individuum est incommunicabile” for which see St. Thomas Aquinas, De veritate,q. 10, a. 5; ID., Summa theologiae, I,q. 86, a. I, ad 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Verducci
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MacerataItaly

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