O’Rourke (ed.), “What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century? Philosophical Essays in Honor of Alasdair MacIntyre”

Here is another excellent looking new festschrift circulating in an orbit MacIntyreproximate to the law and religion galaxy, What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century? Philosophical Essays in Honor of Alasdair MacIntyre (Notre Dame Press 2013), edited by Fran O’Rourke.  I have long thought that it would be useful and interesting to include selections of Alasdair MacIntyre’s writing in a course in legal ethics; both his criticisms of contemporary moral discourse and his descriptions of what a “practice”–like a legal practice, for example–consists in would be excellent issues to think about in Professional Responsibility.  Happily, I’ll be teaching the course in spring 2014–students, prepare for MacIntyre.  The publisher’s description follows.

What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century? is a volume of essays originally presented at University College Dublin in 2009 to celebrate the eightieth birthday of Alasdair MacIntyre—a protagonist at the center of that very question. What marks this collection is the unusual range of approaches and perspectives, representing divergent and even contradictory positions. Such variety reflects MacIntyre’s own intellectual trajectory, which led him to engage successively with various schools of thought: analytic, Marxist, Christian, atheist, Aristotelian, Augustinian, and Thomist. This collection presents a unique profile of twentieth-century moral philosophy and is itself an original contribution to ongoing debate.

The volume begins with Alasdair MacIntyre’s fascinating philosophical self-portrait, “On Having Survived the Academic Moral Philosophy of the Twentieth Century,” which charts his own intellectual development. The first group of essays considers MacIntyre’s revolutionary contribution to twentieth-century moral philosophy: its value in understanding and guiding human action, its latent philosophical anthropology, its impetus in the renewal of the Aristotelian tradition, and its application to contemporary interests. The next group of essays considers the complementary and competing traditions of emotivism, Marxism, Thomism, and phenomenology. A third set of essays presents thematic analyses of such topics as evolutionary ethics, accomplishment and just desert, relativism, evil, and the inescapability of ethics. MacIntyre responds with a final essay, “What Next?” which addresses questions raised by contributors to the volume.

Ward & Ward (ed.), “Natural Right and Political Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Catherine Zuckert and Michael Zuckert”

One of the best, most helpful, and most lucid treatments that I have read of theNatural Right and Political Philosophy difficult thinker Leo Strauss was written some years back by the political theorists Catherine and Michael Zuckert.  I am therefore excited to take a look at this new collection of essays honoring the work of the Zuckerts, Natural Right and Political Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Catherine Zuckert and Michael Zuckert (Notre Dame Press 2013), edited by Ann Ward and Lee Ward.  The publisher’s description follows.

Inspired by the work of prominent University of Notre Dame political philosophers Catherine Zuckert and Michael Zuckert, this volume of essays explores the concept of natural right in the history of political philosophy. The central organizing principle of the collection is the examination of the idea of natural justice, identified in the classical period with natural right and in modernity with the concept of individual natural rights.

Contributors examine the concept of natural right and rights in all the manifold and interdisciplinary dimensions associated with the Zuckerts’ oeuvre. Part I explores the theme of natural right in the ancient and medieval political philosophy of Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, and St. Augustine. Part II examines the early modern break from the classical tradition in the work of Montaigne, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Locke, and Hegel as well as the legacy of the modern natural rights tradition as explored by Leo Strauss and Pope John Paul II. Part III treats the theme of natural rights from the Puritans through the Founding period in such figures as Thomas Jefferson and Gouverneur Morris and up to the Progressive era with Booker T. Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. Part IV addresses questions of natural justice in literature, including works of Euripides, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Edith Wharton, and Tom Stoppard.

Religious Legal Theory Conference at Touro (April 11-12)

Over the next couple of days, Touro is hosting the fourth annual Religious Legal Theory Conference. Both Marc and I are on the program tomorrow, moderating panels on “Philosophical and Political Perspectives on Religious Legal Theory” and “Religious Legal Theory and Perspectives of ‘Others.’ Stop by and say hello!