We often hear it said that "each person is unique and unrepeatable" or that "each person is his own end and not a mere instrumental means." But what exactly do these familiar sayings mean? What are they based on? How do we know they are true? In this book, John F. Crosby answers these questions by unfolding the mystery of personal individuality or uniqueness, or as he calls it personal "selfhood." He stands in the great tradition of Western philosophy and draws on Aquinas wherever possible, but he is also deeply indebted to more recent personalist philosophy, especially to the Christian personalism of Kierkegaard and Newman and to the phenomonology of Scheler and von Hildebrand. As a result, Crosby, in a manner deeply akin to the philosophical work of Karol Wojtyla, enriches the old with the new as he explores the structure of personal selfhood, offering many original contributions of his own. Crosby sheds new light on the "incommunicability" and unrepeatability of each human person. He explores the subjectivity, or interiority, of persons as well as the much-discussed theme of their "transcendence," giving particular attention to the transcendence achieved by persons in their moral existence. Finally he shows how we are led through the person to God, and he concludes with an original and properly philosophical approach to the "image" of God in each person. Throughout his study, Crosby is careful not to take selfhood in an individualistic way. He shows how the "selfhood and solitude" of each person opens each to others, and how, far from interfering with interpersonal relations, it in fact renders them possible. "Crosby makes an invaluable contribution to the future of Catholic. This book will become must reading for anyone interested in the relation of John Paul's personalism to the perennial philosophy and neo-Thomism. For those interested in mediating personalism and Thomism, Crosby is their best guide."--Deal W. Hudson, Editor, Crisis magazine
John F. Crosby is professor and chair of philosophy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. He has taught at the University of Dallas, the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome, and at the International Academy of Philosophy in Liechtenstein. Professor Crosby earned his doctorate in philosophy from the Universitaet Salzburg, Austria, studying with Josef Seifert and having Dietrich von Hildebrand as his master.