Readers expecting a traditional philosophical work will be surprised and delighted by David Walsh’s Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being, his highly original reflection on the transcendental nature of the person. A specialist in political theory, Walsh breaks new ground in this volume, arguing, as he says in the introduction, “that the person is transcendence, not only as an aspiration, but as his or her very reality. Nothing is higher. That is what Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being strives to acknowledge.” The analysis of the person is the foundation for thinking about political community and human dignity and rights.
Walsh establishes his notion of the person in the first four chapters. He begins with the question as to whether science can in any sense talk about persons. He then examines the person’s core activities, free choice and knowledge, and reassesses the claims of the natural sciences. He considers the ground of the person and of interpersonal relationships, including our relationship with God. The final three chapters explore the unfolding of the person, imaginatively in art, in the personal “time” of history, and in the “space” of politics.
Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being is a new way of philosophizing that is neither subjective nor objective but derived from the persons who can consider such perspectives. The book will interest students and scholars in contemporary political philosophy, philosophy of religion, and any groups interested in the person, personalism, and metaphysics.
“Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being is a brilliant, eloquent, and luminous meditative study, filled necessarily with paradox, owing to the limitations of analysis and of language, of which Walsh is fully cognizant, on the meaning of the person. This is an outstanding piece of work by one of the foremost scholars of his generation." — Barry Cooper, University of Calgary
“Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being is a magisterial book in the line of Gilson’s Unity of Philosophical Experience, that is, it is a book that sees where ideas go in the light of the being in which all things are grounded. Walsh brings his previous searching reflections on the direction and content of philosophy to a brilliant conclusion in these memorable pages. This is a work of original intellect that serves to illuminate what a person is, how it is grounded in reality, how it relates to both God and to the political order." — James V. Schall, S.J., emeritus, Georgetown University
“Rare, indeed, is the book that discusses the human soul in all its amplitude with grace, discernment, and penetration. David Walsh’s new book allows us to see that the relational human person is the alpha and omega of all philosophical and political reflection. David Walsh’s post-metaphysical reflection, a luminous exercise in philosophical Christianity, has nothing to do with fashionable academic nihilism. And his treatments of art and ‘God as the seal of the personal’ are alone worth the price of admission.” — Daniel J. Mahoney, Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship, Assumption College
“In reading Walsh, one gets the sense that, in its logic, thought is going somewhere, whether it likes it or not. What Walsh has spent his life seeking to accomplish is a coherent, thorough, and valid understanding of the relationship of God, man, nature, and politics in light of what it is to be a person….Almost every page contains passages and considerations that took me back to almost everything I had ever read before. . . . Continually I found understandings that so struck me that I simply had to let them sink in. This was a book that I did not want to end, even though somehow I was in a hurry to finish it to see if its conclusion would be what I suspected all along that it might be. . . . The greatness of Walsh’s book, following on his previous ones, is that it sees that persons bear reality and give it its meaning and purpose.” — New Oxford Review
“Politics of the Person as the Politics of Being is a dense and difficult read, but also very rewarding. In trying to describe the indescribable astonishment that each person is, Walsh keeps alive the idea of philosophy not only as linguistic analysis but also as the seeking of wisdom and truth.” — America
“David Walsh has written a wonderful book. Because it studies the person in the context of Eric Voegelin’s project in Order and History , it will be of great interest to Veogelin readers who have followed his search for order. . . . Walsh’s book is uniquely and creatively a work of original thinking. He expertly situates his ideas within modern philosophical and political thought, as well as within several Voegelinian perspectives.” – Voegelin View
“No philosopher, theologian, or political scientist will want to miss Walsh’s beautiful, philosophic meditation on personhood. Walsh’s achievement is not simply that his arguments clarify the paradoxes and insufficiencies within various attempts to capture and define the human person but also that his own searching lines of inquiry invite readers to experience with him the transcendental, grounding character of personhood.” — Choice
“David Walsh’s new study is a tour de force in terms of its contribution to modern philosophy, politics, and culture and clearly shows that Walsh is a world-class philosopher. Politics of the Person is quite simply unique and groundbreaking in philosophical significance. . . . Everyone who joins in the adventure of reading this volume becomes a candidate for the disclosure of the beauty, height, breadth, and depth of the truth of the human person.” — Claritas: Journal of Dialogue and Culture