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Drawing on and developing the phenomenological work of figures such as Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler, Knowing by Heart: Loving as Participation and Critique provides an account of the various feelings and feeling‑states that pertain to matters of the heart. Anthony J. Steinbock’s work investigates the special kind of knowing that is revealed most profoundly through love.
Knowing by Heart describes the movement of loving as a participation that bears on all beings. Eschewing the dichotomy of rationalism and sensibility that has dominated discussions of love and emotion, Steinbock understands the heart as a vast schema ranging from the deepest loving to affects and felt conditions. The book brings into focus the importance of a full‑bodied relational account of a normative critique based in emotion. From a phenomenological description of diverse feelings to the normativity of loving as the discernment of the heart, this work evaluates hating’s relation to loving. At the basis of all this is a phenomenological and philosophical anthropology in response to the basic question: In reality, who and what are we?
About the Author
ANTHONY J. STEINBOCK is a professor of philosophy at Stony Brook University. He is the author of five books, including Home and Beyond: Generative Phenomenology after Husserl and Moral Emotions: Reclaiming the Evidence of the Heart, both of which were published by Northwestern University Press.
"Knowing by Heart explores like no other the meaning of what it is to be a person. In an original and compelling phenomenological study, Steinbock traces this core meaning to an emotive center that a vast array of cultures imagine as the heart. But loving, through its contrast with hating, not only reveals the generativity of personhood. What philosophers have too easily dismissed as matters of the heart expose a rigorous ground for moral emotions and a revitalizing turn for ontology itself. This deeply important book opens phenomenology to dimensions of experience that elevate and transcend but also sustain everyday life." —Cynthia Willett, author of Interspecies Ethics
"This is a fabulous piece of work and an excellent follow-up to the author’s Moral Emotions. It places the combined body of thought among the best of what phenomenology has to offer for the study of the human condition. I highly recommend this book." —Lewis R. Gordon, author of Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization
"Would loving be the first condition of knowing, and knowing the rigorous expression of loving? In order to raise these questions, Steinbock simultaneously opens Husserlian phenomenology to Schelerian themes and provides Schelerian personalism with the refinement of Husserlian procedures. I know of no one else who could have written this book. We will be discussing its important theses for some time." —Jeffrey Bloechl, Department of Philosophy, Boston College
“Anthony J. Steinbock’s Knowing by Heart is a masterpiece of phenomenology that shows how we fulfill our deepest humanity when loving. Reading this was a gift during the pandemic, when people have lost so many precious, intersubjective links. A book we need to reestablish trust and respect for one another.” —Natalie Depraz, author of La surprise du sujet: Un sujet cardial