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An analysis of the metaphysics of personhood: with special reference to Kant, Fries, Schelling, Cieszkowski, Royce, Scheler and Otto

An analysis of the metaphysics of personhood: with special reference to Kant, Fries, Schelling, Cieszkowski, Royce, Scheler and Otto

Sas, Zbigniew (2006) An analysis of the metaphysics of personhood: with special reference to Kant, Fries, Schelling, Cieszkowski, Royce, Scheler and Otto. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned to argue for a metaphysical approach to notions of personhood in contradistinction to the alternative positivist approach and this by way of a deployment of the as yet vastly under utilised resources found in the Central European metaphysical tradition. This thesis is organized into three parts. Firstly, it describes the notion of personhood that is drawn from the positivism of the British analytic tradition which can be demonstrated not to have fulfilled the criteria required for an anthropology that accepts a concept of a finite self. The positivist notion of the self is seen to be reductionist, determinist and ultimately nihilistic in its apprehension of human freedom, dignity, and value.

Secondly, it canvasses an alternative and specifically metaphysical anthropology found in the Western philosophical tradition as a challenge to this positivist anthropology in German modernism and idealist developments in American personalism. It examines the personalism inherent in the faith-philosophers of the post-Enlightenment and also in Schelling, Schleiermacher and Dilthey. Symbolism and story found in supernatural fiction relating to Fries and Otto’s phenomenology of religion emphasize the significance of the philosophy of the imagination in restoring the metaphysical tradition. Further investigation of phenomenology of the self in Husseri and Scheler unveils a neglected Christian personalism which is traced further in later continental modernists.

Thirdly, Polish personalism, typified by its 19th Century instantiation of messianism, significantly demonstrates the profundity and diversity of this neglected tradition. The personalist metaphysics of Mickiewicz and Cieszkowski, together with its Russian and French counterparts represents an ongoing development within metaphysical anthropology which is still to achieve its apogee. This tradition maintains a foundational faith in the imago Dei quite antipathetic to its positivist competitor. The originality of the thesis, resides in a treatment of this system of ideas – little examined in the West.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.549221
Uncontrolled Keywords: metaphysics, anthropology, positivism, philosophical theory,
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of History, Philosophy and Politics
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:16
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/6292

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