Essence, Abyss, and Self: Hedwig Conrad-Martius on the Non-spatial Dimensions of Being

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Hedwig Conrad-Martius (1888–1966) (HCM), one of the outstanding pioneers of the realistic phenomenological school, describes the reality (Realität) to which her philosophizing is addressed as “totally non-material corporeality”. With this contradictory expression, she seeks to affirm two foundational aspects regarding reality: the spatial that achieved material realization in real existents and the concealed non-spatial that is at the cradle of the establishing of reality and remains present behind its phenomenal and material appearing. This article focuses on three ontological elements in HCM’s idea of reality—“essence”, “abyss”, and “self”—whose meaning both implies and raises the issue of the non-spatiality of Being in a complex manner. Moreover, the three seek the same objective of accounting for the force in real beings that will never ever be able to shine in its entirety. By means of philosophical explication of the mentioned elements and the illumination of the dialectic of each of them with the corresponding spatial aspects, this article demonstrates the evolution of HCM’s understanding of the issue of spatiality that mirrors her metaphysics as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
ISSN (Print)2523-8760
ISSN (Electronic)2523-8779

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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