Scheler on the Embodiment of Value


  • Zachary Davis



Scheler, Lived Body, Value


In this paper, I examine the relation between the lived body and the deeper spiritual values. The dualism in Scheler’s thought between life and spirit requires that the embodiment of value not be thought in terms of the spirit’s mastery over the body or the body’s ability to recognize the depth of spiritual values. As I argue, embodiment must be understood in two respects. First, there is a process of embodiment that takes places primordially at the emotional level of existence, the level wherein the lived body experiences a deeper, more heroic vital existence through the realization of spiritual values. The second process concerns the role of tradition. It is through shared cultural practices that the spiritual structure and ordo amoris comes to be erotically shared and embodied by finite persons.  

There are three sections of this paper. The first describes the meaning and development of the lived body in Scheler’s work. Section two investigates the relation the lived body has to it environment. The third and final section illustrates how the lived body comes to embody the deeper spiritual values.