Chopin: Op 15 No. 1 in F
 
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Manfred Frings' 
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Frings' Home Page Max Scheler  
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Britannica Award

 
Hi, this is Manfred Frings and I'm your host to this web site on the
philosopher Max Scheler (1874-1928).

This is not a commercial site, but a site of philosophy. That is, not a site for sales, but one leading toward insights. Welcome. 
 The Frings  
Let me quickly introduce myself to you and make a comment on what philosophy can do on web sites. 

I am emeritus professor of philosophy and reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico.Since 1970, I have been editor-in-chief of the Collected Works of the philosopher Max Scheler (Gesammelte Werke) and director of the Max-Scheler-Archives until 2005. In 1997, I was named honorary president of the international Max Scheler Gesellschaft. Let me add also that in 1966 I initiated at DePaul University in Chicago the annual Heidegger Conference of North America, and I am also editor of Heidegger's lectures on the ancient Greek thinkers Parmenides and Heraclitus contained in his Collected Edition (Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 54, 55). 

I taught and lectured at many institutions of higher learning, among them Cologne, Freiburg, Oxford, and The Sorbonne. I authored, edited, and translated over thirty books and wrote also well over a hundred articles for professional Journals. I was privileged that some of my work on Max Scheler had been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and French. One of my latest books, The Mind of Max Scheler (1997, 2nd 2001, 324 pages), Chinese translation, Shanghai, 2006, is the first presentation of Scheler's philosophy that is exclusively based on the now completed fifteen volume German Collected Edition. Overall, I enjoy teaching contemporary philosophy and its Greek roots as well as the Greek roots of modern atomic physics.

Among the highlights in my professional life were two opportunities given to me to discuss in detail on several occasions Max Scheler's philosophy; in 1966 and 1969 with Martin Heidegger, who, in 1928, articulated that Scheler had not only been the strongest philosophical force in Europe but that all philosophers are indebted to him; the other in 1980, when I had the honor to  meet, in private audience, Pope John Paul II, who had written his Inaugural Dissertation on Max Scheler's Value-Ethics and who had published many other works on Scheler later. Both Heidegger and Pope Johne Paul II showed a vivid interest especially in topics contained in Max Scheler's numerous (virtually thousands) of posthumous manuscripts on which I had worked for many years in terms of deciphering and final editing for publication in said Collected Edition.

You might ask: Who is Max Scheler? Well, take a look at the Max Scheler Web Site for info. It'll pay, as they say. The Max Scheler site offers trails leading to personal enrichment, rather than sales and advertisement. Already for this reason, philosophy has no stock on Wall Street. Instead, it lets you put stock into your very own person. It's tools are not technical but mental soft- and hardware, that has been connected over centuries with "toil and trouble," to cite Shakespeare. These mental tools you can use and apply everywhere, if you read philosophy seriously, and slowly, while thinking purely, i.e., thinking without presuppositions and biases. Sometimes, this is hard to do. 

Max Scheler's thought offers a number of promising trails toward the end of more fully understanding the values of your life and times, the very site you live in in practice, and it makes you more fully understand your fellow humans, perhaps your destiny as well. 

While living in Southern Italy, a deep thinker, the Greek philosopher Parmenides, told us around 500 B.C.: It is by walking "the trails leading to Truth" that one learns about all things. der Feldweg And such trails toward Truth have been walked by all philosophers ever since, up to Heidegger's favorite trail (Der Feldweg) but which, as so many of them, too, has disappeared and been forgotten. 

Those trails are arduous and dusty, often confusing, wrong, and hard to walk on. We often just avoid them, for instance, by replacing them with expedient methods for securing plausible truths and proofs. But almost all methods seem to have their limitations. For example, scientific and logical ones do not work in historical processes. Methods are constructed on top of their forgotten foundation -- the trails leading to Truth -- thereby covering up the two Greek roots of the word 'method' itself: met-hodos or "along the trail". 

Before it can be anything else, Truth is the plain openness and presence of the world around us, an untouchable openness that you can neither hold in your hands nor, paradoxically, even see with your eyes. It can only be grasped in pure thought. That is why its comprehension is so difficult. Truth is existential openness that spans our birthday and day of death. Most often in our everyday lives, and ungratefully, we take this sheer presence of the world for granted. Not so in philosophy. 

On that account, the trails toward the openness of Truth lead you through sites of the mind, not of the screen. Philosophical trails challenge you to climb mountains of thought up to peaks that open up sights of unexplored, mental vistas. These trails will make the world you happen to live in more meaningful, because by thinking purely they lead beyond everyday routine. To boot, all those who walked the trails toward Truth will tell you that they lead at the same time to personal serenity, peace of mind and fulfillment, because of the constant expansion of your insight and knowledge that takes place while you keep on walking trails that are right. 

Insight and knowledge accrue each time your mind surfs sites of the meaning of the world even if you come across a marker pointing to a tragedy. Catching insightful glimpses of the very meaning of this openness and presence of our existence, of its irreplaceable value while we are alive, makes one equally an encultured, and educated, person. After all, the Greek word "philo - sophy" means "love of knowledge," fulfillment through knowledge. And, basically, knowledge is insight into what plainly is and happens, before it can be parceled and applied to individual matters. 

The picture above shows me with my wife Karin at our home in northeast Albuquerque, New Mexico with the 10,000 feet high Sandia Mountains in the background. Even from our home here at 6000 feet, we can see up to 80 miles west toward the horizon spanning a radius of some 180 degrees. The Rio Grande valley runs across it all from north to south. What a sight of unobstructed open space!  

Over well over four decades ago, I emigrated from Cologne-Lindenthal, Germany, to the United States. I am proud to be an American citizen. Never any regrets. I love America, even when taxes go up. Taxes?  Rhymes with Texas, my favorite site in the USA. Destiny never let me settle at a Texan site. 

Like most of us, your host, too, has some avocations. Sometimes, they reveal parts of our nature - as do our dislikes. 

piano

The avocation that suffused my life since the age of four was not philosophy. It is playing piano - untaught. I never had any lessons. I was born with perfect pitch, and play everything by heart. Almost exclusively: Chopin. But also Franz Schubert. These two preferences might reveal that I was born a bit like a romanticist. I also play the violin that an excellent teacher taught me for 10 years; and I do paintings, portraits and landscapes. As a student I sold quite a few of them making it possible for me to travel to Italy and to my much cherished England and Scotland. 

Photo: Max Scheler on the road with Mrs. Scheler and Dr. Rolf Hoffman At times, different side interests that we have do not appear to fit in with our avocations. Or do they? I enjoy flying in open cockpit bi-planes whenever someone takes me up there. But my favorite sport is Formula One Racing.  Books that I collected over the years on the history of Grand Prix racing lead back to the roaring twenties when only dusty trails led to a finish line. 

Thanks for visiting this prelude to the site of the philosopher Max Scheler. As we say out West: 

Happy Trails!


Go to the Max Scheler Web Site



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