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1. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
William Tullius Editor’s Introduction
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forerunners of christian personalism
2. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Br. Reed Frey Personal Incommunicability and Interpersonal Communion
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Newman’s anthropology duly appreciates the individuality and subjectivity of the human person, identifying each person as having “an infinite abyss of existence” within. Each person has thoughts and experiences that can never be fully understood by another. Yet Newman balances this focus on the radical irreducibility and individuality of the person with the inextricably social dimension of personhood, which is important for belief and value formation and moral development. He recognizes that we are social beings, discovering ourselves and growing through the influence of community and interpersonal relationships. This essay proposes, through a presentation of the personalist thought of Newman, that the radical individuality and subjectivity of the person does not need to be seen as an alienating or isolating reality but can rather be viewed as a basis for the development of interpersonal relationships.
3. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Michael J. Healy, Ronda de Sola Chervin Interpreting Kierkegaard’s Notion That “Truth Is Subjectivity”
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The article interprets Kierkegaard’s thesis that “truth is subjectivity,” unfolding four possible meanings:1. the deepest kinds of knowledge can only come from lived experience;2. self-knowledge is essential for metanoia or change;3. if the “how” is right, then the “what” or the truth will also be given; and4. the deepest importance of truth lies in living it.These reflections are then related to personalist themes: the incarnate person as responsible, as inviolable, and as averse to coercion; the incarnate person as having a mysterious interiority, an infinite abyss of existence, and as never reducible to a mere part of a whole nor simply determined from within or without; this interiority is not isolating but opens up toward others; and freedom is not arbitrary but implies universal moral and particular religious calls.Finally, I ask whether Kierkegaard’s personalism is too individualistic and does not do full justice to some of the themes here.
phenomenological personalism
4. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Sr. Maria Gemma Salyer The Unfolding of Gender in the Human Person: Contributions of Edith Stein
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This essay evaluates the role of gender in the human person. According to the Thomistic account, gender is an accident of the material body. I suggest that the Thomistic account is in need of revision and examine a modified Thomistic account presented by John Finley, which establishes gender as an inseparable accident stemming from the soul. Finley’s account, which strives to remain faithful to Thomism, is closer to the essentialist position offered by personalist philosopher Edith Stein. I present Stein’s account of gender as essential by focusing on two poignant claims made by Stein: (1) that gender relates to the essence of the person as it unfolds from a spiritual core and (2) that human nature is comprised of a dual species, male and female. I argue that these two claims serve to establish Stein’s essentialist position regarding gender.
5. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Alexander Montes Toward a Thicker Notion of the Self: Sartre and von Hildebrand on Individuality, Personhood, and Freedom
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In this article, I compare Jean-Paul Sartre’s and Dietrich von Hildebrand’s analyses of the look of the other to argue that personhood is more fundamental than individuality. Sartre restricts subjectivity to individual consciousness, which, qua individual, is defined as not being what others are. As a result, both freedom and selfhood for Sartre are defined as “nihilation.” By contrast, for von Hildebrand, the experience of the loving interpenetration of looks reveals both the self and the other as concrete values precisely insofar as they are persons. I conclude with the implications of this primacy of person over individual for understanding freedom. Both Sartre and von Hildebrand recognize our “fundamental” freedom of choosing our ends, which corresponds to our being individuals. However, only von Hildebrand recognizes that the highest freedom is not found in individual choice but, rather, in the “cooperative freedom” of personal love.
karol wojtyła / john paul ii’s personalist project
6. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Juan Manuel Burgos Wojtyła’s Personalism as Integral Personalism: The Future of an Intellectual Project
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This essay attempts to define Wojtyła’s personalism and to present the possibilities for the continuation and development of his work through what the author of the essay calls integral personalism. To do so, we present first of all some of the main keys of the philosophy and anthropology of Karol Wojtyła as they have been developed in his main work, The Acting Person. Later we compare them with the different types of personalism to show that his philosophy does not exactly fit any of them, particularly the Thomistic personalism of Jacques Maritain. Finally, a new stream of personalism is postulated, Integral personalism, which according to the author not only would be able to show with precision the main philosophical theses of Karol Wojtyła but could also develop them.
7. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
John F. Crosby On the Difference between the Cosmological and the Personalist Understanding of the Human Being
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In this essay, I try to advance the reception of Karol Wojtyła’s seminal essay “Subjectivity and the Irreducible in Man.” In particular I try to understand and to think through the distinction that he makes between the “personalist” and the “cosmological” image of man. I unpack Wojtyła’s concept of subjectivity, which underlies all that he says about the personalist image of man. I give particular attention to all that he says about the unity formed by the two images. I then proceed to apply Wojtyła’s analysis to a certain cosmological challenge to a personalist understanding of man: it is the challenge that comes from looking at the immensity of the cosmos and at the infinitesimal smallness of man in it and of thinking that man is swallowed up in this immensity and obliterated in his importance. I argue that precisely the subjectivity of the person implies that there is in each person an “infinite abyss of existence” so that each person is in reality his or her own whole and is no mere part of the cosmic whole but is incommensurable with it.
8. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Fr. Michael Darcy Personalism as Interpersonalism: John Paul II and René Girard
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This essay will examine an illuminating convergence in the thoughts of Pope John Paul II and the cultural anthropologist René Girard. It will be seen that this convergence is a consequence of the shared concern of both to understand the human person in terms of its relation to other persons. So while not a personalist philosopher in the strict sense, René Girard’s concern for the interpersonal brings him close to the personalism of John Paul II, who likewise understands human subjectivity in terms of the relations by which it is constituted. Both practice what might be called an “interpersonalist” personalism, which this essay will argue ought to characterize the practice of personalism in a Christian context. The essay will make this observation the basis for further reflections on the nature of personalism and its relation to the Christian intellectual tradition.
ethical and political implications and provocations of a christian personalism
9. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
V. Bradley Lewis Thomism, Personalism, and Politics: The Case of Jacques Maritain
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The Thomistic revival initiated by Leo XIII was late in having an effect on political philosophy. Many have charged Thomism with being inapt to contribute to political philosophy, either because it is at odds with modern political institutions and practices or because it is inflexibly moralistic. I address the former issue by way of an examination of Jacques Maritain’s Thomistic personalism, which provides distinctive and valuable resources for understanding modern politics. This requires examining the development of Maritain’s political thought in reaction to controversies over integralism in the 1920s and the rise of totalitarianism in the 1930s and ’40s. Throughout this period, Maritain was clear about the theological aspects of his personalism, and so I conclude by discussing contemporary pluralism as a challenge to Maritain’s project.
10. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Fr. Anthony Chukwuebuka Ohaekwusi Moral Blindness: A Discovery of Banality in the Actions of Persons
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This article explores the concept of moral blindness in the light of the self-conscious actions that constitute a person. Personalists argue that as man discovers himself in the acts he posits, the moral character of his actions distinguishes him as a responsible subject of both his being and his actions in the community of persons. Scholars like Dietrich von Hildebrand discussed the various attitudes of this acting person that make him numb to moral considerations under the theme “moral value blindness.” This essay therefore demonstrates how moral blindness poses a challenge to the capacity of man’s moral response as a person in action. It examines the danger of being morally blunted by weaving together thoughts of personalists including Karol Wojtyła, von Hildebrand, Hannah Arendt, John Crosby, and others to develop a call to moral consciousness steeped in our awareness of being in communion with other persons possessing absolute dignity and value.
11. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Brian J. Buckley Racism and the Denial of Personhood
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One of the worst aspects of racism is the damage inflicted on the human person by evoking feelings of separateness and inferiority. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King meant to capture that impact by referring to a “degenerating sense of nobodiness.” This essay invokes King’s reference to “nobodiness” and connects it explicitly with the negative effects on three particular elements of the human person. Those are having a unique and expressive voice, living a narrative life, and being a Thou. Each is part of a distinctive, unrepeatable personhood. Racism, however, with its categorizing and generalizing tendencies, denies the recognition of those attributes and thereby accords a status of “nobody” to the victim. His or her point of view, personal story, and capacity to stand with integrity as a Thou are set aside. Rendered a “nobody” by racism, his or her personhood has been denied.
12. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Rose Mary Hayden Lemmons Countering the Crisis of American Democracy with the Thomistic Personalism of Aquinas and John Paul II
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The crisis of democracy unfolding in the United States was identified by John Paul II as due to misunderstanding the relationship of truth and freedom. This crisis has grown worse due to a libertinism that sees objective moral truths as impositions on both free choice and fulfilling relationships, that identifies self-fulfillment with a self-creation in which one creates one’s own values, that seeks to build democracies apart from moral objectivity, and that dismisses the relevance of God for living well. I argue that democracy cannot survive these libertine errors and that they cannot be successfully countered by utilitarianism, Rawls’s political liberalism, or democratic proceduralism. Survival requires adopting the Thomistic personalism formulated by Aquinas and developed by Karol Wojtyła as indispensable for understanding those lived experiences through which one encounters the ethical moment of self-determination, achieves moral objectivity, avoids loneliness by loving truly, and seeks—via collaboration with women exercising their feminine genius for discerning the welfare of others—the common good, without which democracies collapse into atheistic tyranny.
13. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Randall G. Colton Editor’s Introduction
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14. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Alice M. Ramos Martyrdom, Truth, and Trust
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15. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Matthew McWhorter Transcultural Moral Truth in Veritatis Splendor and Fides et Ratio: Resources for Discerning Revisionist Concerns
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16. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Eduardo Echeverria The Splendor of Truth in Fides et Ratio
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17. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Gregory R. Beabout, Daniel Carter Two Cheers for Democracy from St. John Paul the Great: Rhonheimer, Kraynak, and the Unfinished Agenda of Dignitatis Humanae
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18. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Josef Seifert Intrinsically Evil Acts and the Relationship between Faith and Reason
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