Body, Text, and Science
What is "scientific" about the natural and human sciences? Precisely this: the legibility of our worlds and the distinctive reading strategies that they provoke. That account of the essence of science comes from Edith Stein, who as HusserI's assistant 1916-1918 labored in vain to bring his massive Ideen to publication, and then went on to propose her own solution to the problem of finding a unified foundation for the social and physical sciences. Stein argued that human bodily life itself affords direct access to the interplay of natural causality, cultural motivation, and personal initiative in history and technology. She developed this line of approach to the sciences in her early scholarly publications, which too soon were overshadowed by her religious lectures and writings, and eventually were obscured by National Socialism's ideological attack on philosophies of empathy. Today, as her church prepares to declare Stein a saint, her secular philosophical achievements deserve another look.