Metaphysics within the Limits of Phenomenology: Balthasar and Husserl on the Nature of the Philosophical Act
This article compares the accounts Edmund Husserl and Hans Urs von Balthasar offer of the ultimate philosophical act: the transcendental reduction and contemplation of the fourfold difference, respectively. It argues that Husserl's method precludes from the outset the raising of the question of being, and that as a consequence, all four of the distinctions that Balthasar describes must ultimately collapse in his phenomenology. An adequate response to Husserl must attend, at least implicitly, to the whole of the fourfold difference in all of its dimensions. The article concludes with a brief reflection on the significance of metaphysics for Christianity and the significance of Christianity for metaphysics.