The Personalist Project

Comments (3)

Jules van Schaijik

#1, May 27, 2012 9:05pm

Thanks once again, Rhett, for your thoughtful response.

Besides the two dangers you mention in your point 1., there is also the danger, don't you think?, to just settle for less: to give up on our hopes and dreams, and accept that life has nothing more to offer. I can't think of the right word for this despondent outlook, but I believe it often passes for the more reasonable and mature one, in contrast to the idealism of youth.

To 2.: I've never read McBrien's critique of vH. Do you happen to have a reference?

To 3.: I think I agree with you. But I would add that the term "individual" — in the richer sense — is useful to emphasize what Crosby calls the "selfhood and solitude" of the person. Some personalists stress the relational and communal dimension of persons so much that they lose sight of their individuality.

Rhett Segall

#2, May 27, 2012 10:55pm


I think your insight accords with vH rejection of a false 'realism".

McBrien's book is

His comments are on 1036/37. I was able to negotiate to those pages at the amazon site 


Jules van Schaijik

#3, May 28, 2012 7:33am


I looked briefly at the passage in McBrien. How inadequate and provoking! It gives a totally false impression of the man, his thought, and his spirituality. Far from rejecting the importance of community, von Hildebrand wrote a two volume book about it (Metaphysik der Gemeinschaft, not yet translated into english).

By the way, today's reading reminded me of your earlier critique of Kierkegaard. The rich man who approached Jesus was very interested in the reward of living a good life: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus never rebukes him for double-mindedness.

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