The Curious Whiteheadian Proclivity In Scheler’s Account Of God And Persons, Part 2 (J. Edward Hackett)

The following is the second installment of a two-part series. The first can be found here.

Geist und Drang

Before talking about Scheler’s conception of the person. I should briefly discuss why it is that we are talking about Scheler’s view of the person in philosophical anthropology if we are interested in Scheler’s panenetheistic conception of God. As Scheler never abandoned his phenomenological methodology that underscored his speculative metaphysics (more specifically panentheism as a form of speculative theism), then we must look to how God is experienced in the person. In other words, in paying attention to how the person becomes with respect to both Geist and Drang, we can understand Scheler’s proposal of panentheism in how the Ground of Being becomes in his The Human Place and the Cosmos.

Scheler’s solution about persons is more unique. In many of these interpretations of the person, one aspect of the person is played up more than the other as a static nature and part of the person. The Greco-Roman interpretation of rational persons plays up teleology and rationality at the expense of animality emphasized in the naturalistic personal interpretation. Scheler’s solution is to synthesize in between these categories, interpreting the biological and psychic realities of human life in terms of their becoming as Drang, what Frings and Scheler scholarship mostly defines as impulsion, a process of drives that motivate, animate, and underlie the self-motion and instincts of life. Next, Scheler interprets the becoming of sublimating the drives with what he calls Geist. Rendered as spirit, Scheler states, “almost no other term has been abused in the past as much as this one has, with the result that only a few people can think of a something specific when the term is used.”[1] Scheler interprets the personal sphere as we are self-given to ourselves.[2]

Spirit refers to the very center of acts in the personal sphere. In this mode of self-givenness to ourselves, includes reason, but also the thinking of ideas and primordial intuition. In speaking of this intuition, this is the highest form of personal existence that connects the phenomenological beginnings of Scheler’s work extended now into his philosophical anthropology. Included in his conception are the specific class of volitional and emotive acts like free choice-making, bliss, despair (his two examples of psychic feeling in the Formalism), wonder, awe, repentance, love, and kindness.[3] At this level, Scheler thinks we are persons, not just psychic centers of concentrated functionalizing drives, nor are we just animals. Spirit becomes defines as “the existential detachment from organic being.[4] In order to understand the relationship between spirit and the drives, I must turn to explicating the drives in Scheler.

What makes Scheler’s contribution to philosophical anthropology is not succumbing to the Cartesianism of many religious interpretations. Unlike Descartes or Christian theology that deny the animality and processes of life, Scheler opened up his philosophical anthropology to an ontology of life. As Spader declared, however, these forces are in opposition. “Geist is what allows the human person to ideate; it is opposed to Drang, that force which is the essence of life.”[5] In this way, Scheler saw that impulsion as the primary materiality in which the spiritualization of drive occurs. In this way, Scheler offers us the fact that persons become as life-in-spirit, not as opposed as Spader thinks. For this reason, Scheler is offering us a process philosophy of becoming of both God and persons rather than a static metaphysics or what Heidegger may have called a metaphysics of presence.

Manfred Frings describes Scheler’s philosophy overall, including his start in the 1920s to develop a metaphysics and philosophical anthropology. Frings writes, “Scheler’s philosophy is one of becoming, not being.”[6] Becoming is being and entails our relating from our part to the whole. In other words, life is in process in several layers in which impulsion is operative and constantly in process. He divides this operative manifestation of life in several layers. While I do not explain the distinction here, it is also paramount to mention that the Spirit and Impulsion distinction tracks and stands in for what became of Scheler’s ideal factors and real factors in his philosophy of culture outlined in his Sociology of Knowledge. For now, let’s take a look at the levels of impulsion described in The Human Place and the Cosmos.

The first level of psychic impulsion occurs in plants. Plants, he speculated, have impulsion towards growth and reproduction only. Time lapse photography indicated that plants unfurl their leaves to maximize photosynthesis. Thus, changes in their environment almost require plants to change their entire state of being in relation to the environment. Plants do not correlate their impulsion toward specific objects in the environment, but relate to it as a whole environing world. This lack of specification of related object is the prime ontological difference between animals and plants.

On a different level, animals experience an impulsion that reports back to the many organic states they achieve, including memory. Both plants and animals find their drives in resistance to the world, and this resistance is how the world is given to all forms of becoming life. Animals experience a more activated center of impulsion in the fact that sensation and consciousness experience resistance in the world. It’s also in this first level of inwardness of life in which Scheler advances the claim that the most concentrated unity of nature and its becoming is found in the human person.[7]

The second form impulsion in life organizes itself in instinct. Refusing the psychological sciences, Scheler defines instinct only in relationship to the behavior of living beings. Curiously, Scheler claims that “behavior is independent of the physiological kinetic movements that carry it out and, as such, its characteristics are determinable without reference to physical and chemical concepts of stimuli.”[8] In this way, Scheler is trying to avoid reductionisms to these primary physical parts and processes from which the natural attitude would characterize these experiences. At the same time, however, the natural facts of the body may constrain how to understand behavior and his efforts may be opening up a space in which a type of dualism is being introduced for human beings given our unique location in the ontology of life.

A more generous reading, however, pays attention that Scheler wanted to advance an interpretation of instinct that respects the fact that “Instinctive behavior must have a sense of being purposeful for the whole of an organism.[9] Thus, the ontology of life respects the entire whole of the organism. Moreover, instinct manifests in relationship to the constancy of habitual rhythms of life. Instincts seem adaptive, more open and less rigid than any metaphor of mechanism that borrow from the imagery of machines to characterize life processes (e.g., the mind as a computer, the body as a “well oiled machine” etc.). For this reason, instincts always serve the species. They do not serve the individual. Instincts are, then, only a way to react to fixed specific structures, not the changing factors occurring in the environment amongst individuals. Still, there is a type of feeling knowledge that is given to organisms at this stage. Values are the coming-to-be feltness of resistance, and the beginning stages of value start here when the organism can have instinctive “knowledge of attracting and repelling moments of resistance.”[10]

 Up to now, drives and instincts are not yet differentiated in lower forms of life than us. In this hierarchical view, then, instincts cannot be reduced to habits, or specific single reflex arcs. Instead, drives are muted and primitive forms of psychic life. In order for drives to emerge from instinct, an organism needs to form more complex associations to have the type of psychic complex necessary for drives to manifest. Drives manifest, then, in animal life when sensations and representations become connected and a drive for gratification seeks them out instead of simply being supplied by the rhythms of life. In this way, intelligence arises coextensively as complex psychic life makes associations to manage and fulfill the energy and discharge of drives.

The third form of impulsion occurs in habitual behavior. For Scheler, this level is beyond plants and only occurs in levels whose previous forms were directed by processes of usefulness. When the movements produced by habit turn out to be successful, the drives are satisfied, and animals tend to fixate on successful patterns rather than unsuccessful actions, and in reference to the Formalism, the values of the agreeable and disagreeable occur here from sensible feeling. This ability to form habits comes out of associative memory, and in animals, the laws of association are simply conditioned reflexes of an occurring reflex arc.

The most interesting claim of Scheler in all of this is the complex distribution of associative memory in all forms of animal life. In human beings, associative memory occurs by copying others. Added to the biological dimension of repetition of drive satisfactions produced by imitation is tradition. The fact that we are a historical species and can move beyond memory recollection embodies the highest form of animal life. This moving beyondness indicates for Scheler the dissolution of tradition. Experiencing ourselves in remembering acts toward a past event is already dissolution of lived tradition.[11]

In the fourth conception of psychic life, Scheler describes it as “organically bound practical intelligence.”[12] In this phrase, we see Scheler’s commitment to an ontology of life binding our practical intelligence and their co-penetration and mutual dependency. Our practical intelligence is bound in the service of drives. For Scheler, there are two sides to intelligence. First, there is its practical definition, the how of practical intelligence is simply acting meaningfully without consulting past trials as an organism does in associative memory. Human beings and mice in a lab exhibit acting meaningfully in past trials. Second, the psychic side of intelligence is “a sudden insight into the context of facts and values within the environment.”[13]

At this level in the Formalism, we may be at vital feeling anticipating values of health and well-being of the person in the environment. Though implicit, I gather that having access to values comprehended but also the fact that we represent the environment and insight “in an anticipatory fashion” is reminiscent of vital feelings “anticipating the value of possible stimuli and their arrival [vital values as he calls them].”[14]

Let us review at this stage what we have done so far. First, I explicated the relationship between the early efforts of phenomenology of religion, phenomenological methodology, and contrasted those methods with what changed historically in Scheler’s move from classical theism to panentheism in his central text, The Human Place and the Cosmos. Next, we focused our efforts on introducing the question of persons as the motivation for opening up speculation concerning Scheler’s philosophical anthropology and later metaphysics in which the personal sphere becomes the locus of where God becomes in us and through us. In this section, then, the life-drive takes becomes the central feature in the entire psycho-physical union of the person, and so it was necessary to explain the becoming of the life-drive in all hierarchical levels of life Scheler outlined before we can explain how these levels of life-drive actively reveal themselves in the becoming of God and persons. Explicating the process of Becoming of God and persons is now the central task of the next section.

The Becoming of God in Spirit

For Scheler, God becomes in spiritualizing acts, and this becoming is causally inefficacious. As Scheler claimed, “initially, spirit has no energy of its own.”[15] Spirit cannot do anything, but have insight into the fact that there is no overall teleological direction than what spiritual acts persons choose to realize into the world. Instead, persons are world-open to the disclosure of value in spirit, but require the life-drive for it to unfold. As Eugene Kelly puts the point, Scheler posits, “Drang as the Ground of Being, Spirit is Gleichurspünglich or equal in primordiality to the Drang, but entirely without power to cause events.”[16] The drive-energies must already be present to establish the condition of realizing spirit into the world. Since what Scheler calls God here becomes in Geist, Scheler is rejecting the Abrahamic God who created life ex nihilo.

For this reason, God is powerless to effectuate change without the human person participating to realize God. This ontological participation and cooperation resides in the becoming of lifeforce through which the cosmos is growing and striving. God can only cause persons to see goodness through love. For this reason, I am defining panentheism as the enspiriting of life’s energies through the freedom of those beings for which God joins in realizing values. God becomes in all beings capable of being persons.  

In our brief survey, we saw that Scheler thinks highly of the human being as a being of spirit, but also that what realizes spirit into this world are vital life drives and structures. Spirit is a potential within life’s movement, and commentators from Zachary Davis to Peter Spader interpret this twofold possible movement as a type of dualism, yet this dualism is atypical from the rationalist varieties we get in Descartes and Leibniz. Even Scheler described himself as a new type of dualist.[17] Despite this allure of dualism, there are a few factors we should note in coming to terms with Scheler’s processual account about persons.

First, persons are always becoming and never complete. There is a dynamism in Scheler’s view at the very center of being a person—and what I have called in this work the personal sphere. The life-drives become spiritualized, and spirit acts become vitalized and embodied. In this way, persons can tend to the values associated with animal life, or they can become and self-transcend themselves in the openness and freedom inherent in actualizing their spirit potential. The personal sphere contains within it “a monarchic structure of acts of which one act at a time has its steering and directing function and is aimed at that value and that idea with which the person, in any given case, ‘identifies.’”[18]

What we value, then has direct bearing on the ontological movement of the personal sphere. Still, there is an ontological law spelled out in the later half of Scheler’s notion of spirit that bears on this ontological movement. Concerning spirit’s impotence (what I have already called its causally inefficaciousness). On this, Scheler writes, “From the beginning, what is lowly is powerful, and what is highest is impotent.”[19] Lower forms of animal life, according to Scheler, are more dependent on their drives and the levels of psychic drives we reviewed in the earlier section.

For Scheler, then, this identification is also the functionalizing and practical aim of metaphysical understanding of the human being. The personal sphere takes on its aspirations from how and why the person understands itself. In the higher formation of value, persons are radically more free than if they identify their base animal natures common to many naturalistic worldviews that have no room for the self-transcendence. Scheler called this being world-open (Welt-Offenheit) Persons are thus an inexhaustible reservoir of potential to realize ever higher and newer values apprehended through spirit ideational acts. For Scheler, this potential is acted upon a type of agapic love that causes the person to see a higher valued conception of their own person and a potential higher community.

More to the point, these value conceptions point to no specific way of being in terms of how to participate in higher values, but only that persons ought to realize more love into the world. In apprehending these value essences to aspire to higher levels of being, the ontological direction of the person runs “from below upward in the world we live in.”[20] In this way, Scheler is much like the Boston Personalist Edgar S. Brightman in thinking that religions are about value experience—maybe better described as value-realization. Brightman articulates this insight with respect to the fact that religion fosters and helps preserve the highest values of truth, beauty, and goodness.[21] For both Scheler and Brightman, religion is a mode of cultural realization and the cultural conceptions, what they embody, have a direct bearing on the range of values that can be experienced.

Scheler maintains that the person is the highest form of this becoming of spirit insofar as the person sublimates the drives of life to spirit. In the passage below, Scheler also mentions the “highest being” as the “Ground of the World.” 

…the highest sublimation known to us—and becoming human is the most intimate unification of essential regions in the world. For the human being unifies all essential regions in him, and especially that of life. This holds at least for their accidental manifestations, and much less so for their quantities of distribution. The view of the world sketched here makes the conflict between a “teleological” and “mechanical” explanation of reality, which prevailed over many centuries disappear…This train of thought cannot stop short before even the Highest Being, the Ground of the World. For Being, too, that which “is through itself” and upon which everything else is dependent, and insofar as spirit must be assigned to it as one of its attributes, can also not as a spiritual Being have any power or strength. Rather, it is the other attribute, the natura naturans in the highest Being, that is, the all-powerful “impulsion” charged with infinite images, which is accountable for reality, while the contingent whatness of entities is never univocally determined through essential laws and ideas.[22]  

In this passage, again, we see that the forces of spirit and impulsion co-penetrate and manifest with regular interpenetrating and unfolding dynamism. The spirited part is the phenomenological intuition apprehending those value essences, to realize higher forms of life, action, and modes of culture over and against our mere animality. These forces come together in the force-center of the person. They interpenetrate and assist each other in mutual operation and reinforcement since the person is the highest form of organization for these elements. Noticeably, however, Scheler attempts a middle view between a Cartesian or scholastic rationalism of teleological substance metaphysics and a pure reductionistic materialism. Let me explain.

The person is neither entirely a rational substance, nor a physical system of evolutionary forces. Instead, the personal sphere is blended between its emotive insight and value-essences and the embodied materiality situated and comporting itself within time. In essence, the compromise between rationalistic and materialistic approaches borrows from the earlier conceptions of a felt rationality similar to the Greco-Roman ontological participation view mentioned earlier. The difference between Scheler and the Greco-Roman view is that ontological participation is directed by love not sterile Stoic or Platonic rationality that subordinates emotions to reason.

Moreover, Scheler is attempting to somewhat accommodate viewing the person in an evolutionary world of becoming in the earlier third conception. The direction or steering of a person’s development comes from the exercise of the freedom to sublimate higher values for lower values for spirit to motivate and nullify the suspension of drive-life for higher purpose. The purposiveness is, then, inspirational from the ideational and intuition of essences. Thus, there is a region of essences, some region described that the personal sphere navigates within and realizes all at the same time.

For Scheler, this inspirational and alluring force of value givenness in Spirit only nullifies the gathered energies of life. Without the gathered energies of life in our drives, persons could do nothing, and Scheler makes a speculative argument by analogy. Just as spirit is powerless in our personal spheres, the same analogy is also made of God’s own personal sphere. According to Scheler, as a person, God as a Being-through-itself relates to the world, and in that relationship again “there is a primordial tension between spirit and impulsion.[23] Like James’s widest possible experiencer, God has the same structure as a person, and the correlate of the world is that which he must relate to through itself. In this way, God becomes powerless, less causally efficacious than classical theism in which God is established in a Platonic position over that which is created from nothing. Moreover, classical theism establishes an asymmetric dependency between the Creator and the created.

For Scheler, this dependency limits what nature can be whereas in the process conception of Scheler, the becoming of the universe in terms of Spirit and Impulsion is left open. There is a possibility of growth, not directed by any set of ideals or God but on the fact that while God can reveal an ideal to persons, persons must choose to realize that value at the expense of lower possiblities. In this way, both Spirit and Impulsion are equal possibilities to be realized specifically in the convergence of these forces in the human person or God’s person. The only dependency is based on the embodied materiality that makes possible the realization of Spirit. In the level of Spirit, the feeling act of love allows for us to feel a person’s absolute uniqueness and dignity. The highest values of what Scheler calls Holy values are the highest possible value realization possible. 

As I am understanding these elements of givenness in persons, and in the larger scheme of the Ground of Being, Spirit and Impulsion become in the pervasive presence of all that is. In this way, panenetheism is God being a person in all-that-is-and-is-yet-to-be, yet these elements of Spirit and Impulsion are not contraries as much as they are ways for the entire all-that-is-as-a-person-is-and-is-yet-to-be. In other words, reality is becoming in God’s Spirit and Impulsion just as easily as it is also a shared co-habitation in the act center of human persons.

In fact, Becoming is this collaboration in us, through us, and us in Spirit and through Spirit that makes up and constitutes reality. Reality becomes in these forces underlying experience and simultaneously as experienced. Spirit and impulsion co-penetrate and interpenetrate, actively unfolding. In some ways, this becoming is passive and in other ways directly experienced as active. For this reason, I find it more appropriate in rejecting this becoming as a type of dualism, but thinking of Spirit and Impulsion in much the same way that process theists have insisted upon a type of dipolar theism.

Thinking of Becoming as Dipolar Theism

In dipolar theism, God’s potential becoming exists in a state of possibility a not yet just like the values called forth in Scheler’s spirit. In the other half, life’s energies in impulsion and realities materiality has already became and actualized some set of possibilities. Given that Scheler’s God is becoming in persons and around us all at the same time, the all-that-is-as-a-person-is-and-is-yet-to-be is an expression that combines the fact that aspects of the panentheistic God are already in time, already coming to be and receding within time and experience.

For this reason, drawing parallels to Alfred North Whitehead’s last chapter in Process and Reality should constitute future work and engagement with Scheler’s writings.[24] I will not attempt such an exhaustive though very much needed analysis. For now, I will simply sketch one way this engagement may look, though more exhaustive treatments should follow upon highlighting this intriguing feature and interpretive direction that Scheler’s thinking might take in future scholarship.[25]

In Whitehead, every actual entity, the most atomic unit of the universe whether we are talking tiny puffs of existence or persons all have a physical pole and a mental pole. These aspects are not the actual entities themselves, but merely aspects of them in much the same way I call Spirit and Impulsion ways of self-givenness of persons may tend even though both elements are constantly co-penetrating. Like any other entity, God is an actual entity with a physical pole and a mental pole, which he calls the consequent nature and the primordial nature. These two aspects of God exist as inseparable parts of God, yet they are unfolding in relationship to each other.

The primordial nature is like Scheler’s Spirit. It expresses what might be as the set of possibilities in which reality may grow. By contrast, the consequent nature expresses the solid fact of what has been, the materiality and determinateness that comes to shape possibility. Scheler’s impulsion, however, is a bit different – it would seem – from Whitehead. For starters, Whitehead’s consequent nature refers to the objective immortality of all determination being remembered and its interaction is what limits the pure expression of what is possible in nature, and Impulsion in persons refers to excitation and release of psychic drives of persons. In a limited way, however, Impulsion may indicate the life-processes in Whitehead on which the possibility of Spirit depends.


In this essay, I have traversed aspects of Scheler’s later metaphysics and philosophical anthropology. The goal has been to both understand how Scheler’s thought changed, what direction it took, and how better to understand the process-based elements of his later metaphysics. As Scheler is mostly remembered because of John Paul II’s habilitationschrift, Scheler tends to be preserved and read through his tentative commitment to his Catholicism. Phenomenology is a way into values of the Holy and reinforces, as it were, dogmas of Catholic religious theology. This trend is unfortunate and fully in error when the scope of Scheler’s life is seen in full.

In addition, I have not read Peter Spader’s arguments in full, nor given them the treatment they deserve. Given that his Scheler’s Ethical Personalism: Its Logic, Development, and Promise (2002) was the second to last scholarly engagement in English on Scheler’s ethics apart from Eugene Kelly’s Material Value Ethics: Max Scheler and Nicholai Hartmann (2011), Spader’s arguments, though I see them as wrong, should be met with greater focus and attention. In this paper, I did not have time to review his interpretations of both the reasons for this dualistic interpretation and the problems of Geist and Drang dualism reading that cut along the lines of interactionism we find in Descartes.

Instead, I have only indicated in spirit with Whitehead that such a philosophy could be read as a type of dipolar monism in which both Spirit and Impulsion are revealed aspects of how persons (both human and God) are revealed to themselves and how and why this realization of self-givenness also constitutes the sense-making of reality. In this way, my reading has bought into Whitehead’s warnings against bifurcated accounts of reality—essentially Whitehead’s anti-dualism, though I have not made any explicit argument for such an interpretation. I have only offered a speculation.

What Scheler’s later metaphysics reveals, however, is the necessity to think beyond the categories of religious and theological orthodoxy. Various dogmas rob us of the cultural and political imaginary to conceive of the Divine beyond tradition. In my country, the United States, Christianity is mobilized under the banner of capitalist ideologies that directly undermine the sacredness of persons. In this way, Christianity is continually weaponized, and while I have many – and at times myself – adhered to Christian principles of agapic love in Christ’s example and drawn to the politics of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am afraid that liberal and progressive Christianity is never enough, never capable of mobilizing the just actions and reforms needed to constrain the global pandemic of climate change that the United States engenders or the structural violence of income inequality domestically.

We consume the world’s energy several times over, and we exploit each other and nature in God’s name constantly. Under the mantle of God, the United States launches attacks all over the world in what to many is a religious war despite the many innocent civilians that die in our God obsessed crusade against the abstract noun of “terrorism.” Thus, the Christians in the United States largely forget about emptying oneself of kenotic love in order to receive it from another. Thus, I have long since thought that a massive cultural challenge to Christian orthodoxy should come from what I dare to call speculative theism.[26]

Just as speculative materialists in Continental philosophy want to reestablish a return to ontologies friendly to objects, so too do I want to undermine orthodoxy of our Abrahamic notions of God. I call upon philosophers to imagine the many different ways that God can be conceived. I call upon philosophers to explore those conceptual systems, retrieving the idealisms, panentheisms, and pantheisms of the past to mine them for what might pragmatically serve and benefit our shared experience as well as to analyze their shortcomings speculating about new forms the Divine may take.

In this way, Scheler’s work is paramount as it stands as one of the last examples of speculative theism (alongside Whitehead) that undermines and stretches the concept of Divinity and Nature to oppose directly the tainted concepts of God in Christianity and rekindle new political theologies that incorporate our obligations to each other nationally, internationally and to the one planet we all call home. Nowhere is this work more important than the United States that leads the world in an unsustainable economic system and blinds us to further immoral ends to which many sisters and brothers of our human family are affected by impersonal attitudes of self-interest in economics and military imperialism.

J. Edward Hackett is an Instructor at Savannah State University. Specializing in ethical theory and phenomenology, he is the author of Persons and Value in Pragmatic Phenomenology (Vernon 2018), a work explicating the metaphysics of value in Scheler. Additionally, he is the co-editor of Phenomenology for the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and editor of House of Cards and Philosophy, and has published on pragmatism and Scheler’s phenomenology in such journals as Comparative and Continental Philosophy, Appraisal, Contemporary Pragmatism, Eidos, William James Studies, Phenomenology and Mind, Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, Process Studies, and Forum Philosophicum.

[1] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 27.

[2] I admit this is my playfulness with Scheler’s attempt at system building. One can interpret two forms of dualism as either a form of interactionism or epiphenomenalism rather than two aspects of self-givenness. Clearly, however, pushing Scheler into process thought and insisting that Drang and Geist are two aspects in which we are given to ourselves merely articulates the process of our coming into view of ourselves in relation to the larger whole of the cosmos—our coming into being of ourselves in one moment and the recedingness of that moment into another. Since Scheler abandons a straightforward Catholicism for panentheism, such a process oriented view that abides by Whitehead’s call to never divide reality into bifurcated accounts of reality.

[3] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 26.

[4] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 27.

[5] Spader, Scheler’s Ethical Personalism, 185.

[6] Manfred Frings, The Mind of Max Scheler, 263.

[7] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 10.

[8] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 11.

[9] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 12. Italics are mine.

[10] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 16. One might see the origin of sensible feelings and the valuing of the agreeable and disagreeable at this level of instinctive know-how.

[11] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 20.

[12] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 21. Italics belong to Scheler.

[13] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 22.

[14] Scheler, Formalism, 340.

[15] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 48. Italics belong to Scheler.

[16] Eugene Kelly, Material Ethics of Value: Max Scheler and Nicolai Hartmann (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011), 190.

[17] For Zachary Davis’s interpretation see his co-written article with Anthony Steinbock “Max Scheler,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.

[18] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 46.

[19] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 47. Italics belong to Scheler.

[20] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 47. Italics belong to Scheler.

[21] Edgar S. Brightman, A Philosophy of Religion (New York: Prentice Hall, 1940), 102. Brightman also advocates more for monotheism than the openness of Scheler’s philosophical anthropology and personalist ethics.

[22] Scheler, The Human Place in the Cosmos, 50.

[23] Scheler, The Human Place in Cosmos, 50.

[24] Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality: Corrected Edition (New York: Free Press, 1978), 342-351

[25] The first in the literature to highlight the need for Schelerians to pay attention to Whitehead is Randall Auxier who in the following article does not so much reveal Scheler to be a dipolar theist, but calls for Scheler’s account of intentional feeling to correct aspects of Whitehead’s thought. Randall Auxier, “Scheler and the Very Existence of the Impersonal” in Eidos: A Journal for the Philosophy of Culture vol. 1, no. 3 (2018), p. 75. In ironic fashion, I am calling for the Scheler community to pay attention to Whitehead as a way to correct Scheler’s dualism.

[26] Professor Angela Roothaan of Vrjie Univesity Amsterdam has reminded me that my call for speculative theism does not pay attention to the many postmetaphysical approaches to God that can be mined for concepts beyond what I call Abrahamic. These postmetaphysical approaches may be exemplified in analogy such as liberation theology’s concern for the poor God. 

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