In this book, Robert Sokolowski argues that being a person means to be involved with truth. He shows that human reason is established by syntactic composition in language, pictures, and actions and that we understand things when they are presented to us through syntax. Sokolowski highlights the role of the spoken word in human reason and examines the bodily and neurological basis for human experience. Drawing on Husserl and Aristotle, as well as Aquinas and Henry James, Sokolowski here employs phenomenology in a highly original way in order to clarify what we are as human agents.
Part I. The Form of Thinking: 1. Two ways of saying 'I'; 2. Further kinds of declaratives; 3. Linguistic syntax and human reason; 4. The person as the agent of syntax: predication; 5. Reason as public: quotation; 6. Grammatical signals and veracity; Part II. The Content of Thinking: 7. The content of what is said: essentials and accidentals; 8. Properties and accidents reveal what things are; 9. Knowing things in their absence: pictures, imagination, and words; 10. Mental representations; 11. What is a concept and how do we focus on it?; Part III. The Body and Human Action: 12. The body and the brain; 13. Active perception and declaratives; 14. Mental images and lenses; 15. Forms of wishing; 16. Declaring our wishes and choices; Part IV. Ancients and Moderns: 17. Aristotle; 18. Thomas Aquinas; 19. Conclusion, with Henry James.
"This rich metaphysical text is heavy indebted to Aristotle and Husserl, but at the same time refreshing only novel in its approach to such traditional philosophical topics as language, truth, knowledge, and selves...Though challenging at time, this work is not to be missed by those hungering for new insight into some of the most traditional issues in philosophy. Summing up: Recommended."
- H. Storl, Choice
"In Phenomenology of the Human Person, Sokolowski, a philosophy professor at the Catholic University of America, tackles an astonishing range of questions and resolves a number of intellectual confusions without sinking beneath the weight of conceptual complexity.
Claremont Review of Books, Robert Royal