Person and experience : a study in the thought of Edgard Sheffield Brightman
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This dissertation comprises exegesis and critique of the personalistic idealism of Edgar Sheffield Brightman (1884 - 1953). Chapter One offers a biography of Brightman's life and identifies the intellectual heritage out of which he emerged and in which his thought may be situated. Chapters Two to Seven contain major exegesis of Brightman's metaphysical system relevant to the detailed critique and redefinition of person which follows in the remaining two Chapters. In these chapters the implications of Brightman's account of experience are examined extensively. The critique develops from relatively minor difficulties to a comprehensive analysis of the relationship that holds between the way he viewed experience and the category of substance. The argument will show that there is a distinction between experience and person which Brightman failed to recognize. The person is discovered to be (what will be called) a functional unity of purposive will and body with experience being one dimension of the person rather than its defining criterion. The concept of person as a functional unity of purposive will and responsive body with experience being a dimension in the person is found to be a more consistent outworking of Brightman's experiential foundation than his own bifurcation of person and body.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy