The essence of a person

The Monist 61 (January):28-41 (1978)


“Know thyself!” This dictum in the Upanishads is also that of the Greeks 2000 years later. But what is meant by “know” and by “self” is different. The Biblical counsel, “Know thyself as created in the image of God,” also reminds us that man’s conception of himself is influenced by his conception of his relation to his ultimate environment. In fundamental terms, there is no East and West when reflective men ask: What is the essence of man? I cannot in this paper pay adequate respect to certain historic approaches to the answer, but they are in mind as I develop a personalistic, temporalistic view of man.

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