Borden Parker Bowne

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bowne, Borden Parker


Born Jan. 14, 1847, in Leonardville, New Jersey; died Apr. 1, 1910, in Boston. American idealist philosopher. Founder of theistic personalism. Professor at Boston University.

A tendency to combine theology and objective idealism is expressed in Bowne’s doctrine. In his philosophy of transcendental empiricism, Bowne used elements from the teachings of Berkeley, Kant, and Lotze. According to Bowne, reality is the aggregate of interrelated, empirical “personalities” that are dependent upon the creative activity of a higher personality, or god. In Bowne’s system, personality does not refer to a real person but to a kind of spiritual monad or soul, which retains its self-identity and reveals itself in the direct experience of an individual human personality. The objective world, its forms, and its qualities are created in the experience of the personality and are secondary in relationship to the personality (Personalism, 1908).


Metaphysics [2nd ed]. New York-London, 1898.
Introduction to Psychological Theory. New York, 1887.
Philosophy of Theism. New York, 1887.
The Principles of Ethics. New York, 1892.
Theism. New York [1902].
Studies in Christianity. Boston, 1909.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Authorship: The personalism of George Holmes Howison and Borden Parker Bowne." The Personalist Forum, 13, 287-303.