Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Steinbock, Anthony


This work argues that Scheler’s phenomenology has the resources to overcome the problem of understanding one of a foreign ethos (i.e., alien) as alien. It does so in three stages. After the introduction, the second chapter provides an exposition of the key intentional structures and horizons to Scheler’s “emotive sphere” or “order of the heart” (ordo amoris). This provides a general orientation into the role emotions have in to our cognitive life. The third chapter sets the stage for the fourth through an analysis of how the person is given to me, with an eye towards their ordo amoris. The fourth chapter picks up where the third leaves off: that humility and co-experiencing are essential to a loving understanding of the alien. While there are obstacles to understanding the alien, such as depersonalization, these can be overcome either through a sympathetic response to spiritual feelings, or more generally in a humble spiritual love. Such a love opens me to their exemplars and their concrete person, whereas lesser forms of love and sympathy render the alien’s acts too abstractly.




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