Dietrich von Hildebrand strove to develop the "rehabilitation of the heart" that was inaugurated by his friend, the important German phenomenologist Max Scheler.  He warns against thinking of the human person exclusively in terms of intellect and will; he understands the heart as a third center of personal life, just as fundamental in its own way as intellect and will.  Indeed, he argues that the heart is the "real self" of a person.

This side of Hildebrand’s mind bore particular fruit in his philosophy of love.  For him loving is not just a matter of willing the good of the beloved, it also includes an affective dimension in the form of taking delight in the beloved person and of giving one’s heart to him or her. Von Hildebrand throws so much fresh new light on love that some of his students dubbed him doctor amoris.

“In many ways the heart is more the real self of the person than his intellect or will.”
From The Heart

Recommended Reading

See Also

The Dietrich von Hildebrand LifeGuide

South Bend: Saint Augustine's Press, 2007. Ed. Jules van Schaijik