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Thomas D. Williams and Jan Olof Bengtsson describe the origin of personalism in the following way:

Personalism in the sense of a distinct philosophy or worldview focusing on the full, accumulated import of the concept of the person, however, emerged only in the context of the broad critical reaction against what can be called the various impersonalistic philosophies which came to dominate the Enlightenment and Romanticism in the form of rationalistic and romantic forms of pantheism and idealism, from Spinoza to Hegel.

They mention the following:

Yet while most personalists are theists, belief in God is not necessary to all personalist philosophies, and some profess an atheist personalism.

I may have missed it in this article, but which modern philosophers could be described as professing an atheist personalism?


Williams, Thomas D. and Bengtsson, Jan Olof, "Personalism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/personalism/.


From the comments:

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Geoffrey Thomas Apr 11 at 8:34
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    Look at Brightman's survey in Ferm's volume (freely available) written soon after personalism was in its prime. He says "McTaggart and Sartre are unique among personalists in denying a personal God", but many others (Schiller, Berdyaev, Whitehead, Bergson, etc.) revised "the traditional idea of God in the direction of a denial of absolute divine omnipotence and the assertion of some sort of limitation of the divine will". – Conifold Apr 11 at 16:31
  • @Conifold I added the reference. Perhaps Sartre should be included as well. Thanks. – Frank Hubeny Apr 11 at 16:36

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