Persons, Institutions, and Trust

Essays in Honor of Thomas O. Buford

James M. McLachlan (Ed.)

by James Beauregard (Rivier University), James M. McLachlan (Western Carolina University), Richard Prust (St. Andrews University, USA), J.Aaron Simmons (Furman University), Nathan Riley , Randall Auxier (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Thomas O. Buford , Mason Marshall (Pepperdine University), John Scott Gray (Pepperdine University), Eugene Long (University of South Carolina)

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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.

Thomas O. Buford, Emeritus, Furman University

“Are Institutions Persons? Buford and the Primacy of Social Order”
Randy Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Institutions Supported, Institutions Subverted: Thomas O Buford on the Parables of Jesus”
James Beauregard Ph.D, Riviere University
Response by Thomas O. Buford

"Why Should I Trust?"
Richard Prust, Emeritus, St. Andrews College
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Christianity and Intellectual Seriousness”
Mason Marshall, Pepperdine University
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Trusting to Dance Within the Nexus”
Nathan Riley, Independent Scholar
Response by Thomas O. Buford

"Prayer, Magic, and the Devil"
Christopher Williams, University of Nevada-Reno
Response by Thomas O. Buford

"Buford, Kohak, and a Renewed Understanding of the Personal Nature of Time"
John Scott Grey, Ferris State University
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Death and Self-Importance”
John Lachs, Vanderbilt University
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Danish Personalism On Democracy and the Engaged Human Freedom for the Common Good”
Jonas Norgaard Mortensen
Response by Thomas O. Buford

‘On Behalf of Poetasters’
Charles Conti, University of Sussex
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Persons, Community and Human Diversity”
Eugene Long, Emeritus, University of South Carolina
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Buford as Teacher, Mentor, Person
J. Aaron Simmons, Furman University
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“The Personalist Response to the Problem of Evil in Brightman, Bertocci, and Buford”
James McLachlan, Western Carolina University
Response by Thomas O. Buford

“Fourth Generation Boston University Personalism: The Philosophy of Thomas O. Buford”
Randall E. Auxier, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Response by Thomas O. Buford

James McLachlan is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Western Carolina University. He the author of several books and articles on Personalism and the problem of evil including: “The Desire to be God: Freedom and the Other in Sartre and Berdyaev”; and most recently, the articles: “Mormonism and the Problem of Evil”; “Mystic Terror and Metaphysical Rebels: Active Evil and Active Love in Schelling and Dostoevsky”; “Satan: Romantic Hero or Just Another Asshole: The Desire to be God, The Devil, and the Demonic”; “Hell Is Others and Paradise Is Others: Hell in the Existential Paris of Sartre and Berdyaev”; and, “The il y a and the Ungrund: Levinas and the Russian Existentialists Berdyaev and Shestov.” He is co-director of the Levinas Summer Seminar and co-founder and co-organizer of the Personalist Seminar. He has known Thomas Buford since 1990. Tom has mentored him since then and helped him discover he was a personalist.

James Beauregard is a Lecturer and Faculty in the Psy.D. program at Rivier University, Nashua, New Hampshire, where he teaches Neuropsychology, Biological Bases of Behavior, Educational Neuroscience, and Aging. His research interests are in the fields of neuroethics and personalist philosophy including the intersection of these two areas as they impact our understandings of personhood. He is a member of the British Personalist Forum and the International Neuroethics Society.

Richard C. Prust lives in Chapel Hill, NC, where he works on a book on personal identity in moral and legal reasoning and teaches part-time in Duke’s continuing education program. He is active in the International Forum on Persons. Before retiring from full-time teaching, he taught philosophy at St. Andrews University in North Carolina. His book, Wholeness: the Character Logic of Christian Belief, is published by Rodopi Press.

Personalism, Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Social Ethics, Civil Rights, Persons, God, Theology, Trust, Education, Institutions

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Book Title

Persons, Institutions, and Trust

Book Subtitle

Essays in Honor of Thomas O. Buford





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Publication date
December 2017