Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dabney, D. L.

Second Advisor

Hinze, Bradford E.

Third Advisor

South, James


I have come rather lately to the study of the person. Where earlier in my education a concern for ontology and epistemology led me to pursue the philosophical theology of ancient Greeks and modern Germans, the question of the human person was held suspended: unthought, unformulated, and unspoken. In part due to the bias that, since Schleiermacher, the detriment of theology has been the radical turn to the subject, I sought what I considered more basic, more substantial and objective things than the pursuit of who I am, of who we all are. Strangely enough, it was a seminar on the spirit that initiated, if not the move towards anthropology, at least the awareness of its importance. A subsequent study of Kant and Hegel coincided with my own dark night wherein the reasons were often not clear why I should get up from the floor, much less pursue theological and philosophical questions. A crisis of identity is too trite a phrase to describe the crumbling of a sure foundation that becomes the dissolution of the self, for it fails to get at the depths at which one questions, not simply who he is, but in fact, if he is-and further: if this means anything at all. Such a personal crisis, a crisis of the person, of me as a person, far exceeds anything the philosophers mean by the "mind-body problem," or "the question of other minds." It is existential and phenomenological, radical in a more literal sense: it goes to the root of one's thought, of one's self, where every question becomes saturated with the doubt of meaning as well as existence, and every view a partial gaze-a struggle now not to see clearly, but to see at all. My pursuit of the person is, in a manner of speaking, an awakening. When pushed for something tangible that somehow links my pre-sleep self with the one who gets up from a nap, I was left with what I considered at the time, merely a narrative, merely a story...



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