Haecceitas as Value and as Moral Horizon: A Scotist Contribution to the Project of a Phenomenological Ethics

Haecceitas as Value and as Moral Horizon: A Scotist Contribution to the Project of a Phenomenological Ethics
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  Haecceitas as Value and as Moral Horizon: A Scotist Contribution to the Project of a Phenomenological Ethics William E. Tullius Abstract  . This aer see!s to ro"ide a henomenological articulation of the Scotist notion of haecceitas# interreting Scotus$ rincile of indi"iduation at once as an ontological as %ell as a moral rincile. &ro%ing out of certain suggestions made b' (ames Hart in his Who One Is # this interretation is meant to ro"ide the  henomenological ethics of both Edmund Husserl and Ma) Scheler %ith a useful theoretical tool in the Scotist notion of haecceitas interreted as a horizon of "alue in order more full' to de"elo the henomenological idea of the ethical life as a tas! %hich secificall' see!s to realize as its highest goal the "ocation of the erson to his or her ideal# true self. The main imlication of Scotus$ thought# here# for henomenolog' %ill  be the abilit' to further delimit haecceitas as an objecti"e moral rincile %hich refutes the fre*uent charge of relati"istic subjecti"ism in the henomenological theor' of ethics.+.  Introduction . The follo%ing aer is an attemt to engage %ith the Husserlian and Schelerian henomenological aroaches to ethics. ,ithin these t%o thin!ers# the *uestion of the ethical life is understood as arising out of the ultimate *uestion of one$s uni*ue -"ocation or -destin' as the highest e)ression of both the realit' and the  ossibilit' of -%ho one is in one$s uni*ue "alue/essence and ideal caabilities as the idea of m' -true self. 0  1or the henomenologists# the concet of m' ersonal self 0 1or Husserl see Edmund Husserl# Gesammelte Werke Husserliana: Aufsätze und Vorträe !"#""$"#%"& # ed. Thomas 2enon and Hans 3ainer Se 45ordrecht: Martinus  2 reresents an ideal %ith normati"e6moral dimensions7i.e. as the "alue/essence %hich stands as an ideal ought calling me to its realization. The henomenologists$ engagement %ith the moral life b' %a' of one$s -ersonal calling or -"ocation# then# in"ol"es a comle) theor' of one$s ersonal relation to one$s self/"alue. This self/"alue is# in e"er' case# %holl' uni*ue. +t must be connected to %hat %e can describe as the horizon of indi"idual selfhood# or %ith %hat (ohn 5uns Scotus %ould call# the haecceitas %hich indi"iduates one as -this uni*ue erson %ith -this true essence.3ecentl'# (ames Hart has attemted to resol"e certain theoretical difficulties and comle)ities %hich arise %hen one situates the normati"it' and the goal of the ethical tas! %ithin %holl' uni*ue ethical rinciles %hich# because the' are %holl' uni*ue# might seem to lead ethics to%ards a !ind of relati"istic subjecti"ism. 8ne of the %a's in %hich Hart attemts to resol"e the difficult' raised b' this notion of the uni*ue moral call# is in de"eloing the idea further along the lines of the Scotist notion of the haecceitas # or -this/ness# of the indi"idual erson. 9  3ecognizing the henomenal  2ijhoff Publishers# 0;<=# 9;f> Gesammelte Werke Husserliana' (and ))VII: Aufsätze und Vorträe !"#%%$"#*+& # ed. Thomas 2enon and Hans 3ainer Se 45ordrecht: ?lu%er Academic Publishers# 0;=# 9@/9> and Gesammelte Werke Husserliana' (and  )))VII: Einleitun in die Ethik  # ed. Henning Peuc!er 45ordrecht: ?lu%er Academic Publishers# 9BB=# 9DB/D   Hua )))VII  F. 1or Scheler# see Ma) Scheler#  ,ormalism in  Ethics and -on$,ormal Ethics of Values # trans. and ed. Manfred S. 1rings and 3oger G. 1un! 4E"anston: 2orth%estern ni"ersit' Press# 0<=# ;;/9> and - Ordo Amoris # in  hiloso/hical Essa0s # trans. and ed. 5a"id 3. Gachterman 4E"anston: 2orth%estern ni"ersit' Press# 0<=# 0B@/.9 See# (ames &. Hart# Who One Is' (ook %: E)istenz  and Transcendental henomenolo0  3 gi"enness of the uni*ue iseit' or haecceitas  of the erson# and moreo"er# of the fact that this henomenon of m' indi"idualit' is gi"en to me as ha"ing a content %hich communicates m' uni*ue ersonal identit'# ro"ides a means for understanding the  ossibilit' of a genuine disco"er' of the ideal sense of m'self as a "alue/ossibilit'  besto%ing a call to the realization of m' highest "alue. +f# ho%e"er# %e are to understand Hart$s solution to the roblematic manner in %hich the henomenologists ose this  roblem# then it becomes necessar' to ro"ide a more e)licit henomenological disclosure of the general sense of Scotus$ notion of haecceitas # in order more full' to recognize the henomenological insight %hich this notion is caable of illuminating for us here. The reason for this is t%ofold.1irst# in site of his suggesti"e use of the term# Hart$s resentation of the roblem lac!s an e)licit# thematic in"estigation of haecceitas  %hich %ould further bolster his de"eloment of Husserl and Scheler$s henomenological ethics. Secondl'# and deeer than this# it is necessar' in light of the henomenological demands of Husserl$s  hilosoh' in the first lace. Husserl argues that our ordinar' usage of hilosohical terms or concets is generall' unconscious of the la'ers of meaning %hich contribute to the o"erall sense of the concets %hich %e emlo'. 8rdinaril'# such concets are onl' -assi"el' understood# or onl' understood to the e)tent necessar' to ma!e a concet functionall' alicable to e"er'da' rojects. Ho%e"er# if henomenolog' is to roceed in rigorous fashion# Husserl argues# it must ma!e that %hich is merel' assi"el' understood in e"er'da' life -self/e"ident for us no% b' going bac! and -reacti"ating the traditions %hich first instituted or de"eloed them in the first lace and b' bringing to light the 45ordrecht: Sringer# 9BB=# 9@<# 9# 0# and 9 for some of the most notable instances.  4  rimar' henomenological data %hich srcinall' furnished their self/e"idence.   Thus# if  henomenolog' is to ma!e use of a meaning/laden term such as haecceitas  b' emlo'ing it in a henomenological in"estigation of moral resonsibilit'# then it can onl' "alidl' do so b' returning to its Scotist srcins and b' ro"iding Scotus$ insight into indi"idualit' %ith a henomenological elucidation of its essential self/e"idence.5uns Scotus is often remembered in the histor' of hilosoh' for his contribution to the discussion of the roblem of indi"iduation# de"eloing a ne% frame%or! %ithin %hich to thin! indi"idualit' and uni*ueness.  Haecceitas # as Scotus describes it# is the - ultima realitas entis # or the -ultimate realit' of the being.   As Mar' Elizabeth +ngham argues# ho%e"er# haecceitas  as it functions in Scotus$ hilosoh' is more than just a metah'sical rincile of the indi"iduation of being and essence# but rather is an srcinal  rincile of moralit'. As +ngham %rites# for Scotus# -the objectIof moral science is not an abstract moral e)cellence# but instead# the erfection of the moral erson# D  %here this  erfection ta!es on uni*ue# indi"idual dimensions. 8n this understanding of the Scotist  Edmund Husserl# -The 8rigin of &eometr'# in The 1risis of Euro/ean 2ciences and Transcedental henomenolo0 # trans. and ed. 5a"id Carr 4E"anston: 2orth%estern ni"ersit' Press# 0<B=# D0. (ohn 5uns Scotus# Ordinatio  ++# d. # n. 0;; in +oannis 5uns Scoti# O/era omnia # Vol. <# ed. C. Jalic# C. Jarbaric# S. Juselic# J. Hechich# G. Modric# S. 2anni# 3. 3osini# S. 3uiz de Goizaga# and C. Saco AlarcKn 4CittL del Vaticano: T'is Pol'glottis Vaticanis# 0<=.D Mar' Elizabeth +ngham# C.S.(.# -(ohn 5uns Scotus: An +ntegrated Vision# in The  Histor0 of ,ranciscan Theolo0 # ed. ?enan J. 8sborne# 8.1.M. 4St. Jona"enture# 2: The 1ranciscan +nstitute# 0=# 9BD.  5  roblematic# one can discern an imortant structural similarit' bet%een the Scotist aroach to moral hilosoh' and the henomenological aroach of Husserl and Scheler briefl' articulated abo"e %hich might "er' %ell be of use to henomenological thought in e"en deeer %a's than Hart$s assing and une)amined uses of the term - haecceitas  might at first seem to indicate. @ +n this aer# + %ill argue that a henomenological elucidation of the Scotist 6  At this juncture# it might be %ondered %hether a discussion of the Scotist concet of haecceitas  in the conte)t of henomenolog' might be better ser"ed through an in"estigation in connection %ith Heidegger rather than Husserl or Scheler. +n articular# one might loo! to Heidegger$s  Habilitationschrift   in %hich he does indeed deal %ith the Scotist concet of haecceitas  see Martin Heidegger#  3ie 4ateorien$ und  (edeutunslehre des 3uns 2cotus  4TNbingen: Verlag "on (. C. J. Mohr 4Paul Siebec!=# 00@=# 0 and @<fF. Ho%e"er# Heidegger does not recognize haecceitas  as a moral concet# nor is his henomenolog' reared to de"elo it in this direction. 3ather# Heidegger interrets haecceitas  in terms of %hat he terms -facticit' See Theodore ?iesel# The Genesis of Heideer5s  Jeing and Time 4Jer!ele': ni"ersit' of California Press# 0=# 9BF. E"en if %e recognize the ultimate imortance of Heidegger$s earl' %or! on Scotus for the de"eloment of the later concets of authenticit' and inauthenticit' and subse*uentl' interret these as ethical categories7contrar' to Heidegger$s o%n intentions7inasmuch as authenticit' is concei"ed in oosition to the idea of a -fallenness in the -the' 4das Man=# such an ethics %ould onl' be caable of dealing %ith the moral imlications of the contrast bet%een indi"idual and sun!enness in  societ0 # not the essentiall' rior contrast bet%een indi"idualit' and commonalit' %here the idea of moral -e)cellence is concerned. +f an ethics of authenticit' is to be justified#
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