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Essays in Honor of Thomas O. Buford1st edition / ISBN: 978-1-62273-093-3
The papers presented in this volume honor Thomas O. Buford. Buford is Professor Emeritus in Philosophy at Furman University where he taught for more than forty years. Several of the papers in this volume are from former students. But Professor Buford is also a pre-eminent voice of fourth generation Personalism, and Boston Personalism in particular. Personalism is a school of philosophical and theological thought which holds that the ideas of “person” and “personality” are indispensable to an adequate understanding of all metaphysical and epistemological problems, as well as are keys to an adequate theory of ethical and political human interaction. Most personalists assert that personality is an irreducible fact found in all existence, as well as in all interpretation of the meaning of existence and the truth about experience. Anything that seems to exist impersonally, such as inanimate matter, nevertheless can exist and have meaning only as related to some personal being. The Boston Personalist tradition was inaugurated by Borden Parker Bowne and continued by Edgar S. Brightman, Peter Bertocci, John Lavely, Carol Robb, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Every kind of exploration is touched in some way by a philosophy of persons; touched and often vitally enhanced. This collection sets out to mine this rich seam of influence, bringing together authors keen to strike new developments and applications. Together, they have put their philosophy of persons to work in fields as wide-ranging as the moral and the metaphysical, the practical and the political, the cultural and the cosmological. In doing so, they have drawn on and illustrated the depth and breadth of modern Personalist thought, demonstrating its crucial relevance to debates across the entire philosophical spectrum. Whether they are familiar with the Personalist tradition or no, readers from every corner of the philosophical world will find much here to challenge and stimulate them. Most importantly, they will find a new and badly needed philosophical perspective.