Individualism and Personalism

Ethical Perspectives 6 (1):67-81 (1999)

I will discuss two opposed conceptions of the nature of the self and indicate the shortcomings of each approach, in order to go on to show something about self-involvement and singularity that is often overlooked. The two opposed conceptions deal with the self in different ways because they also deal differently with the relation between consciousness and the self as such. In the first conception, this relation remains external: reflection is not of the same order as the self and, conversely, the self is something that always falls outside of reflection, something against which a position can be occupied and a (critical) distance taken. Here, the self is an object whose nature does not in the least affect the nature of reflection. To the contrary, the ego must explicitly identify with that object if there is to be any trace of a connection with it at all. I will refer to this position as that of individualism.
Keywords Individualism  Personalism
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DOI 10.2143/EP.6.1.505366
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