The Freedom of the Artist
In the last two posts, we explored two ways of thinking about freedom that I have argued are ultimately inadequate. In this post, I will articulate a third option that I believe preserves the best intuitions in these two models while avoiding their inadequacies. This third option conceives of freedom on analogy with an artist's act of creation.
Introduction to Hildebrand - Value
Hildebrand is well known for his philosophy of value and value-response, which grounds many of his most important philosophical insights and appears in nearly all his works. Value, according to Hildebrand, is a basic datum of experience appearing as the "important in itself" as distinct from the "merely subjectively satisfying" and the "objective good for the person." The encounter with this excellence presents itself as something more than merely neutral, something that demands a kind of respect even though it may not hold any element of subjective pleasure for me or involve a benefit to me at all.
Personhood, Personal Identity, and Personality
It is helpful to draw a distinction between three things. Persons are persons just by their mode of existence, even as an embryo or in a coma. This is constituted by their personhood, which is the same for all persons. Personal identity, however, distinguishes one person from another and establishes that person as the same person over time. This personal identity is a stable possession, but it can develop a person's capacities into the full expression of a personality.
I Loved You Because
Are there any crueler words than "I loved you because"? How ominous that conjunction---how devastating that tense. The first sin of Dorian Gray turned on just these words.
We must distinguish the "Christian personalist" movement from what some philosophers call "theistic personalism" in contrast to "classical theism."
Screwtape the Christian Personalist
Uncle Screwtape reveals a deeply personalistic understanding of good and evil.
My review of Dietrich von Hildebrand's Liturgy and Personality appeared in Touchstone.
Von Hildebrand on Machine Culture
Dietrich von Hildebrand objects to the mechanization of the person.