The Personal metaphysics of B. P. Bowne as the self-experience of cognition

  • V. O. Patsan The Oles Honchar Dnepropetrovsk national university
Keywords: Absolute Personality of God, Supernatural Revelation, personal principle of being, human person, meta-ontology of the personhood, self-experience, self-cognition


The article is aimed at defining the peculiarities of the primary for American personalism – performed by B. P. Bowne – explication of the personal character of cognitive activity which laid the foundations for his “personalized” ontology. On the base of the analytical review of the main vectors of problematizing the personal subjectivity actualized in the philosophical-humanitarian space of contemporaneity the author reveals the development of the personalistic inspiration of post-non-classical philosophy into renewing the interaction of philosophical and theological discourses which was initial for the  personalist thought and intended to reunite rationality with its spiritual sources in the course of reflecting the personal mode of being realized on the ground of theism.  The study connects this orientation on overcoming the delimination between rational and ethic dimensions of the personhood with establishing at the emerging - “post-secular” -  stage of historical-philosophical process the meta-ontological character of the problem of the personality revealed in the midst of the twentieth century by the prominent Orthodox theologian and philosopher-personalist V. N. Lossky. The research argues for correlating the further reflection of the meta-ontology of the personhood uncovered by the Scripture and expounded by patristic trinitology with the retrospection of the trajectory of moving towards the Supernatural Revelation paved in the late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries by the attempts of personalizing the ontology, in particular by B. P. Bowne’s personal metaphysics. The historical-philosophical reconstruction discovers that the originator of the personalistic philosophy of the USA constructed his “personal world” considering the validity of the person’s knowledge to be the empirical fact forming the all-sufficient epistemological criteria and formed by the alive person realizing that his/her selfness is not a phenomenon but the most concrete reality and able to transcend the sensual perception by the self-experience  feeling “the ethical demand for an ethical Creator”  and immediately addressing to Him.  Comparing B. P. Bowne’s views with I. Kant’s and А. Comte’s ideas reflected by him the article proves the superiority of his concept of the personality over the objectivized definitions of the subject which is provided by the genetic connections of the American philosopher’s thought with Christian doctrine.  

Author Biography

V. O. Patsan, The Oles Honchar Dnepropetrovsk national university
candidate of theology, senior lecturer


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How to Cite
Patsan, V. (2016). The Personal metaphysics of B. P. Bowne as the self-experience of cognition. Grani, 19(4), 51-62.