London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1952. First British edition. Octavo, original heather gray cloth, original dust jacket. Gentle wear to the edges of the dust jacket. A nearly-fine copy. Item #400
"LOVE IS THE SUREST CERTAINTY THAT MAN KNOWS; THE ONE IRREFUTABLE, EXISTENTIAL COGITO: I LOVE, THEREFORE I AM; THEREFORE BEING IS, AND LIFE HAS VALUE" First edition in English of Emmanuel Mounier's “last and most complete exposition of the Personalist doctrine” of the dignity of the human person. Personalism holds that "the human person is the basic unit of society, and that all forms of social organization--family, nation, church, state--are sound only insofar as they uphold the dignity of each and every person and prompt every person into direct encounters with others." (Paul Elie, The Life You Save May Be Your Own). Mounier was the founder and editor of the Paris review Espirit and his distinctive synthesis of personalism, first outlined in A Personalist Manifesto (1938), would have a lasting influence on a wide range of figures working in Catholic literature, philosophy and theology. "Mounier called his own philosophical attitude Personalism, a perspective which accorded the highest value to the human person. As persons, so Mounier maintained, we possess both a temporal and spiritual dimension; we exist in history, in relationship with others, but open to transcendence and ultimately to God. This concept of the person, he believed was denied as much by an atheistic totalitarianism of the Left as by the bourgeois materialism of capitalist society.” (Robert Ellsberg, All Saints). The book is composed of an introduction and two main sections: Informal Introduction to the Personal Universe, Part One. The Structure of the Personal Universe, Part Two. Personalism and the Revolution of the Twentieth Century. First published in France in 1950 and translated by Philip Mairet. The American and British editions of the translation were published posthumously after Mounier's death in 1950 at age 45. McLean, An Annotated Bibliography of Philosophy in Catholic Thought, 1900-1964, 331.