Why it is called personalism

Personalism is a strand of philosophical and political thought that attempts to capture what a human being is – and to then articulate the social and structural consequences.

The fact that this anthropology was given the label “personalism” has its historical causes, but primarily it denotes that the human person, and in particular the dignity, engagement, and relationships among persons, is always the point of departure: Humans have inherent dignity, and the good relationship between humans and the engagement of humans in a life of community is essential to the good life and to healthy societies.

The personalist anthropology

  • Humans are relational beings in need of a close and engaged interplay with other humans in our local communities, in order to thrive and develop our potential.
  • Humans have the capacity to engage, a capacity that we realize in freely taking responsibility for our own lives, but also for our fellow humans in local communities and in society at large.
  • Humans have inherent dignity that can never be relativized or diminished, and which neither humans nor society have the right.