Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, K. Wojtyla on Person and Ego

The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 15:1-6 (1998)
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Abstract

Today the connection between "person" and the "I" is acknowledged in many respects but not always analyzed. The need to relate it to the reality of the human being has sparked the present investigation of the philosophical anthropology of four thinkers from the late ancient, medieval, and contemporary periods. Although it may seem that the question of the role of the "I" with respect to the human being hinges on the larger problem of objectivity v. subjectivity, this does not seem to be the case. Many topics, however, are necessarily entailed in this investigation such as individuality and universality, soul and body, consciousness and action, substance and history, the self and the other, the metaphysical and the phenomenological, and experience and the ethical. At the end of this study we arrive at more than a grammatical use of the "I." From reflection on the contributions of Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, and Wojtyla, the ontological role of the "I" is identified. In doing so, one realizes that the ontological does not forsake the concrete, but penetrates it more deeply. Indeed, that was what Plotinian philosophy claimed to be doing: recognizing the richness of human reality.

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