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André Ong
A Dialectical Anthropology of Concrete Totality: A Methodological Framework for Understanding the Unified Totality of the Human Person


The conception of the person cannot be understood in isolation from the philosophical system as a whole, because it is the whole system that conditions this understanding. Therefore, disputes concerning the constitutive elements of the person are also disputes concerning philosophical systems. In addition, the choice of philosophical categories employed in framing anthropology mediates the outcome of the investigation. Is there a philosophical category that provides the fullest access and adequate description of the unified totality of the internally differentiated human person? It will be argued in this paper that an anthropology viewed from the horizon of a dialectical concrete totality provides such a comprehensive access and description. To appreciate the breadth and scope of this category, I will first enumerate its philosophical foundations and justification. Second, and more importantly, I draw out the strength and importance of such a dialectical anthropology. If philosophical anthropology asks how human existence as a totality is constituted, the category of a dialectical concrete totality presents an ontology of human existence constituted in the four moments of cosmic, socio-historical, physical and personal totalities, under the horizon of the religious dimension immanent in all of human existence and unified in the human subject through action.

A proposed dialectical anthropology of concrete totality not only intends to correct the one-sidedness of traditional anthropologies but also unifies the different constitutive moments and horizons as an internally differentiated unified totality.

AndrĂ© Ong is an Associate Lecturer and Ministry Fellow at the Academy for Christian Thought in New York.  He graduated from Claremont Graduate University writing his doctoral dissertation on “The Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics of Karol Wojtyła/Pope John Paul II.”  His primary interests include philosophical anthropology, philosophical theology, Hegelian philosophy, Christian ethics and Catholic moral theology.  His upcoming book, “Karol Wojtyła’s Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics: Towards a Dialectical Anthropology of Concrete Totality,” is published by Catholic University of America Press.  He is also the senior pastor at the International Christian Church of San Diego.


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