The paper aims to make the case that Edith Stein’s thought on feminine distinctiveness and sexual difference between man and woman deserves interest not only from historical point of view but also as a potential contribution to the present-day debates in feminist theory. In the first part, we argue for the relevance of classical phenomenology to current feminist theory. Phenomenologists avoid reducing the question of sexual difference to its empirical level. They rather reveal the sense of the difference by tracing its genesis within the experience of a concrete person and conceive it as a difference regarding the form or style of the entire intentional life. The aim of the second part is to show that Edith Stein phenomenological account of sexual difference is just of this sort. Therefore, her philosophy provides a basis of a fruitful phenomenological alternative to naturalistic and constructivist approaches in current feminist theory.
Edith Stein, Feminism, Human nature, Person, Phenomenology, Sexual difference, Woman