The Charioteer

"The charioteer of the human soul drives a pair of steeds, and one of the horses is beautiful, good, and formed of such elements, whereas the makeup of the other one is quite the opposite." -Phaedrus

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Location: Duquesne University, United States

A Blog For All and None. Consider it my narrative history of ideas. A place primarily to share and obtain feedback to my thoughts through my graduate career in philosophy. For philosophy is simply "thoughts that have been thought out."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Heidegger vs. Scheler: Part II, The Anthropological Problematic

In order to decipher the meaning of John White’s comparison mentioned in Part I, which is my eventual goal, it is important to see how Heidegger criticizes Scheler in the beginning of Being and Time. His criticism is not so much a criticism of Scheler’s philosophy specifically, but one of the employment of philosophical anthropology in general, of which Scheler (and Husserl for that matter) is a notable proponent, especially for Heidegger, a fellow phenomenologist and Husserlian. Furthermore, we also see that Heidegger’s criticism is not even one pertaining to anthropology in terms of its personalism, i.e., he is not criticizing the anthropology itself, but only the starting point of anthropology. Anthropology wrongly begins by first describing being (essences) and fails to consider the more primordial question, the Being of those beings. There lacks then a “fundamental ontology” upon which to even begin the work of interpreting the meaning of being: “what is man?”

But in Heidegger’s description of Scheler’s anthropology and personalism—as spirit defined in terms of its acts and opposed to something substantial, and therefore something all together different from the soul and body—it is evident he treats only the very “essential” elements of Scheler’s anthropology, i.e., those elements of Scheler’s account that have to do with his description of the essence of the person (spirit) and the whole personal being. And thus, Heidegger’s criticism works. But the question is whether Heidegger’s too brief account of Scheler does the anthropologist justice in finding some elements within the whole of Scheler’s philosophy (and therefore not restricted to his anthropology) that might account for a kind of “fundamental ontology,” or something that does “reach the dimension of the question of being in Da-sein” (BT, §47). Something that is on the level of Heidegger’s “being-in-the-world.”

This question is not a rhetorical one, by which I mean, I have no idea whether such a notion actually exists in Scheler! But this is a process, and is the difference in writing on a blog and writing for a journal: I am allowed not to have a conclusion prior to beginning the question; however, I am willing to bet I will come up with something…, One thing is for certain, if something of this kind can be discerned in Scheler’s work, it will surely not be explicit as Heidegger’s analysis of “the fundamental constitution of Da-sein”: being-in-the-world. But the problem of anthropology provides a starting point and John White’s comparison which began this project gives us a conclusive hint: I imagine it will have something to so with “being-toward-value.”

Scheler's Gesemmelte Werke

I need to make a correction regarding something I wrote in my previous post entitled "'Rational Psychology and Philosophical Anthropology.'" Toward the end of the post I mentioned how Max Scheler was never able to spell out his philosophical anthropology in a detailed fashion due to his untimely death. I recently, and very happily, discovered this information, although it was once assumed (The translator's introduction to Scheler's 1961 edition of Man's Place in Nature assumes it to be unwritten), is false. The source of my discovery: the contents of Max Scheler's Collected Works (Gesemmelte Werke) whose editorship was taken over from Maria Scheler by Manfred Frings in 1970. The entire 15 volume German edition of the collected works of Scheler has recently been completed; A volume of which (vol. 12) contains Scheler's 350 page Philosophische Anthropologie, posthumously published along with other titles such as, On Ethics and Theory of Knowledge; Theory of Cognition and Metaphysics; Philosophy and History; And two final volumes of various essays (Varia I & II).

Here is a list of the Collected Works from Fring's website on Max Scheler.

Vol. 1 Frühe Schriften. [Early Writings] 434 pages

Maria Scheler and Manfred Frings, eds.

Vol. 2 Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik. Neuer Versuch der Grundlegung eines Ethischen Personalismus. [Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values. A New Attempt toward the Foundation of an Ethical Personalism] 659 pages

Maria Scheler, ed.

Vol. 3 Vom Umsturz der Werte. [The Turn-Over of Values] 450 pages

Maria Scheler, ed.

Vol. 4 Politisch-Pädagogische Schriften. [Political and Educational Writings] 717 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 5 Vom Ewigen im Menschen. [On the Eternal in Man] 488 pages

Maria Scheler, ed.

Vol. 6 Schriften zur Soziologie und Weltanschauungslehre. [Essays Concerning Sociology and Weltanschauung-Theory] 455 pages

Maria Scheler, ed.

Vol. 7 Wesen und Formen der Sympathie. [The Nature and Forms of Sympathy] 372 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 8 Die Wissensformen und die Gesellschaft. [The Forms of Knowledge and Society] 538 pages

Maria Scheler, ed.

Vol. 9 Späte Schriften. [Later Works] 384 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 10 Schriften aus dem Nachlass. Vol. I: Zur Ethik und Erkenntnistheory. [Posthumous Works Vol. I: On Ethics and Theory of Knowledge.] 583 pages

Maria Scheler, ed.

Vol. 11
Schriften aus dem Nachlass. Vol. II: Erkenntnislehre und Metaphysik.
[Posthumous Works. Vol. II: Theory of Cognition and Metaphysics]
296 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 12 Schriften aus dem Nachlass. Vol. III: Philosophische Anthropologie. [Posthumous Works Vol. III: Philosophical Anthropology] 382 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 13 Schriften aus dem Nachlass. Vol. IV: Philosophie und Geschichte. [Posthumous Works Vol. IV: Philosophy and History] 292 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 14 Schriften aus dem Nachlass. Vol. V: Varia I . [Posthumous Works Vol. V: Varia I] 471 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Vol. 15 Schriften aus dem Nachlass. Vol. VI: Varia II. [Posthumous Works Vol. VI: Varia II] 224 pages

Manfred Frings, ed.

Now, the only problem is that the majority of these works have yet to be translated into English. Therefore, there is much work involved for anyone who wants to be a Scheler scholar...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ACPA 2006 Annual Meeting

The American Catholic Philosophical Association will be having their annual conference hosted at Denison Univeristy, October 27th - 29th. Student Registration in only $10.00.

The conference seems to be largely centered, naturally, on Aristotelian and Thomistic Philosophy; however there are some occasional segments for continenal and phenomenological philosophy allowed in the schedule. Besides Franciscan's own, Professor Jonathan Sanford, who is scheduled to present a paper entitled "Aristotle's Divided Mind: Some Thoughts on Intellectual Virtue and Aristotle's Occasional Dualism," here is a list of the societies which will be participating:

Gabriel Marcel Society

Ohio Greek Philosophy Reading Group

Society for Catholicism and Analytical Philosophy

Society for Thomistic Natural Philosophy

ACPA Committee on Priestly Formation

American Association for the Philosophic Study of Society
International Institute for Hermeneutics
Philosophers in Jesuit Education (with Dr. Norris Clarke representing!)
Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics
Lonergan Philosophical Society
Ohio Greek Philosophy Reading Group
Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy
Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology
Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics

ACPA Website:
Register Online: