An important milestone of 20th Century philosophy was the rise of personalism. After the crimes and atrocities against millions of human beings in two World Wars, especially the Second, some philosophers and other thinkers began to seek arguments showing the value of each human being, to expose and denounce the folly of political structures that violate the inalienable rights of the individual person.
Karol Wojtyła appeals to the ancient concept of 'person' to emphasize the particular value of each human being. The person is unique because of their subjectivity by which they possesses an unrepeatable interior world in the history of humanity. Their rational nature grants them a special character among living beings, among which is the transcendence to the infinite. Wojtyła magisterially shows how each human being's personhood is rooted in a conscious and free subjectivity, which is marked also by personal and social responsibility. Wojtyła's original philosophical analysis takes for its starting point the human act, in which consciousness and experience consolidate voluntary choices, which are objectively efficacious. By their acts, the person determines their own personhood. This self-dominion manifests the person and enables them to live together in a community in which one's neighbor can be a companion on the voyage of life.
This work provides a clear guide to Karol Wojtyła's principal philosophical work, Person and Act, rigorously analyzing the meaning that the author intended in his exposition. An important feature of the work is that the authors rely on the original Polish text, Osoba i czyn, as well as the best translations into Italian and Spanish, rather than on a flawed and sometimes misleading English edition of the work.
Besides the analysis of Wojtyła's masterwork, this volume offers three chapters examining the impact of Wojtyła's anthropology on the relationship between faith and reason.
"We have Acosta's and Reimers's work, which provides an exceptional guide to the meaning of Person and Act, carefully analyzing Wojtyla's philosophical stance. The authors also go beyond their interpretive reading of Person and Act to give us a more comprehensive look at Wojtyla's philosophical views, which is so necessary in understanding Pope John Paul's theological writings... The study of Wojtyla's philosophy is not easy, but it is made much more manageable by Acosta and Reimers... Acosta's and Reimers's book will serve as an aid to both religious students and budding philosophers. Both disciplines are brought together in an understandable way. The book is recommended for all academic libraries."~Arnold Rzepecki, Catholic Library World
"Because of these difficulties in accessing Wojtyla’s mature philosophical work, Acosta and Reimers’s new volume is a welcome companion… Acosta and Reimers have certainly made a valuable contribution… Acosta and Reimers have in this patient and careful study helped to unlock these insights latent in Wojtyla’s philosophical project. I warmly commend the book to those interested in learning more about the thought of the man who became St. John Paul II. If we want to uncover the riches of modern Catholic Social Teaching, we need to understand his philosophical anthropology, and Acosta and Reimers have provided us with its most detailed exposition to date."~Benjamin Paulus, University of Aberdeen, Studies in Christian Ethics
"Karol Wojtyla's Personalist Philosophy reflects on a great theologian's understanding of the human person and human actions, and John Paul II is a paragon of the ezamined life. For many Christians, he is the cornerstone of their faith lives, and this book not only is faithful to his philosophy but is a good source of spiritual reflection."~Denn, Harrison, The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly
"While there are already at least two very good books in English on Wojtyla's philosophy, Acosta and Reimers have certainly made a valuable contribution to this literature. What distinguishes their book from those is that it focuses almost entirely on Wojtyla's notoriously difficult Osoba i czyn (Acosta and Reimers insist on staying close to the Polish title, calling the book Person and Act, rather than The Acting Person)."~Paulus, Benjamin, Studies in Christian Ethics