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Title: Introduction
Author(s): BOUCKAERT, Luk
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 6    Issue: 1   Date: 1999   
Pages: 1-3
DOI: 10.2143/EP.6.1.505358

Abstract :
In the Thirties, European personalism was an inspirational philosophical movement, with its birthplace in France, but with proponents and sympathizers in many other countries as well. Following the Second World War, Christian-Democratic politicians translated personalistic ideas into a political doctrine. Sometimes they still refer to personalism, but most often this reference is little more than a nostalgic salute. In the mainstream of Anglo-Saxon political philosophy, there are practically no references to personalistic philosophers. Is personalism exhausted as a philosophy or political ideology? Yes and no. Paul Ricoeur, writing in Esprit (1982), summed up the situation like this: “personalism is dead”, but he was careful to mention a “return of the person”. Indeed, no tradition or movement can simply perpetuate itself. It must, in order to continue making history, always abolish itself as a `system' so as to make room for the unsaid and the unthought in its tradition, an idea that Mounier also fervently believed in.

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