Socrates was the first to critically search the soul of the one as the fountain of all human actions. He looked into this matter by analysis of the ethics of satisfaction and the ethics of reason. Personalism deals with what it means to be a person, and what it is for persons to live in personal, social, national and international relationships in an age of increasing globalization.
[Aristotle] substituted the World–Soul of Plato for a single self–conscious Being, a ‘Prime’ or ‘Unmoved Mover’. To Aristotle the American Personalists gratefully attribute an increased emphasis upon empirical method and a sharpening of logical instruments, the continuance of the ethical tradition of self–realization and an aesthetic theory which found intimate positive relations between aesthetic experience and other needs of the human person.
Emmanuel Mounier later wrote, “if the first condition of individualism is the centralization of the individual in himself, the first condition of personalism is his decentralization, in order to set him in the open perspectives of personal life.” Therefore Mounier is arguing that where individualism hopes to find personal realization in self-interest, personalism asserts the absolute need for openness to others, even as a condition for one’s own realization.