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Juan A. García González
Juan Jose Padial Benticuaga
The Personal Being (Polo)


I understand that there are four dualities: 1. The duality between the human person and God; 2. The inner duality of each person; 3. The duality between the human person and the universe, and in general terms with the whole reality out of mind; and 4. The duality of the person with its proper human nature.

The last is especially relevant. The Human person is a donation. It aspires and tries to make gifts. But, without acting by the means of its nature, the human person would not have a gift to contribute. Then, its gift-love would come to nothing. The duality between the person and its nature has a special significance in order to fulfil the structure of the human person as a created being.

Thomistic philosophy found in the “distinctio realis” of essence and being the expression of the created character of creatures. The anthropology of Polo follows such a discovery, insisting especially in the personal creature. Just because the being of human person distinguishes from its essence, it is possible to research something more of the personal being. In doing so, one finds those other dualities that we have pointed out: God and human person, human being with itself, and the human being with the universe. Only at the end, at the fourth and last duality, is it possible to understand the real distinction.

The fourth duality would not be possible without the other three dualities. The anthropology of Polo amplifies the classical metaphysics with a transcendental anthropology. It adds an exact research on personal being, just in its distinction from its essence. As we are saying: there are dualities, and transcendentals too. That is the content of Polo’s anthropology.

At the same time, Polo’s anthropology has thoroughly rectified modern philosophy. The image of human being that such period has passed on draws on the human being as an autonomous self who tries his fulfilment through his behaviour. That is the enlightenment ideal, which pretends to put down to the rational subject the whole human world.

Leonardo Polo’s rectification of modern philosophy points to another image of human being. That of the human being like a filial being, of a being that it is open to its creator from its intimacy, that of a being that searches to please its creator by means of its behaviour.

The modern ideal of self-fulfilment involves a dynamic aspiration of human being on itself. Such an aspiration is incompatible with its character of creature. The creature, as such or inherently distinguishes from its operative nature, even that, which has been improved by means of habits. The modern overestimating of action is ordered, on the other hand, to discover that the sense of human action is to fulfil with gifts the gift-love structure of personal love. The crucial hope of human being is that its gift will be accepted.

Juan A. García González is a professor of Philosophy at the Universidad de Málaga. He was born in Madrid, Spain in 1959. In 1981, he obtained a graduate degree in philosophy with an extraordinary prize from the University of Navarra. He then went on to earn his doctorate from the University of Málaga in 1984. He has been a professor there since 1981. He was a visiting professor in 1992 at the Catholic University of Valparaíso in Chile. He was also a lecturer at a several diverse university institutions.

His main books include: El ser y la libertad (1992); El pensamiento de Leonardo Polo (1994); Teoría del conocimiento humano (1998); Principio sin continuación (1998); Introducción a la filosofía de Levinas (2001); Actualidad de la metafísica (2002); Futurizar el presente (2003); y Después de Husserl (2006).

He is a member of several different international philosophical societies. He is currently vice-president of the Institute of philosophical studies Leonardo Polo.

Juan Jose Padial Benticuaga teaches Philosophy at the University of Malaga.  He has researched at the University of Munich, at the Schelling-Kommission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (both in Munich, Germany), and at Glasgow University (UK).  He is a member of the Research Group on German Idealism of the University of Malaga, that has translated into Spanish several works of Schelling.  Actually, he is member of the Hispanic Society of Studies on Hegel and of the Hispanic Society for Philosophical Anthropology.  He is director of the Information Service of Philosophical Bibliography (, Secretary of the Philosophical Institute Reinhard Lauth, and of the Institute for Philosophical Studies Leonardo Polo.  He has been specialized in the study of modern metaphysics (particularly: modal ontology), including Spinoza, Leibniz and Hegel.  His last papers focused on the roots of the contemporary crisis of the self, trying to overcome some difficulties of the modern approach.


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