- Hardcover: 200 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (May 16, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 074254429X
- ISBN-13: 978-0742544291
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition
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The Amazon Book Review
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While not a work of academic philosophy―MacIntyre intends it for undergraduate seniors and first-year graduate students―this book can profitably be read by any reader of First Things. In fact, it should be so read, as either an introduction or a refresher to the great tradition, and then passed on to a friend. (First Things 2010-07-01)
Without ostentation he displays his great learning, pointing out, almost in passing, that what many an undergraduate thinks is the height of modern philosophy was actually knocked out by Augustine more than a millennium beforehand. (Comment Magazine: Cardus 2011-06-24)
MacIntyre has offered a book that serves its intended non-specialist audience well…. He explains the Catholic philosophical tradition in a way that will be accessible to intelligent readers and shows how the tradition truly is philosophical…. MacIntyre's contributions are welcome and go some distance to showing how theism is ultimately more satisfying from a strictly philosophical standpoint…. A useful starting point for those many students and lay people who have been denied the very sort of education that MacIntyre here espouses, including and especially within our Catholic universities. (American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly)
Fascinating. (Logos: Journal Of Eastern Christian Studies)
MacIntyre incorporates . . . his view that modern university education has become fragmented and absent of any inquiry into the relationship between the disciplines, leaving little place for theology or philosophy. (Publishers Weekly 2009-04-01)
This compact book will be very useful to undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars of the philosophy of religions, and for clergy. Highly recommended. (CHOICE 2009-11-01)
MacIntyre thinks that lay Catholics, especially those engaged in current controversies that make philosophical claims, should know something about the history and tradition of Catholic philosophy. His account pivots on St. Thomas Aquinas, of course. Before him are Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Islamic and Jewish influences, and other topics. (Research Book News 2009-08-01)
There is a prophetic quality to much of the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, a quality present in his new book, God, Philosophy, Universities. . . . MacIntyre has offered a framework for moral discourse that tries to reconcile the claims of historicism with the need for objectivity. . . . MacIntyre brought us along on an extraordinary intellectual journey. (Commonweal Magazine 2010-03-01)
Alasdair MacIntyre, one of the world's leading moral philosophers and author of the classic volume After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, would give academic theology a central role. In his most recent book, God, Philosophy, Universities, he appeals to John Henry Newman's The Idea of a University (1854) to argue that philosophy, and its close ally, theology, make a university what it should be – a 'universe' of knowledge. Universities today, MacIntyre complains, keep their disciplines separate. Hence students are being trained up for specialised job opportunities rather than for life, while research programmes fail to make connections across the broad span of neighbouring subjects. He advocates that theology should listen to, and be in constant conversation with, every other academic discipline if universities are to fulfil their function as places where students and teachers explore what it means to be human. (Financial Times 2010-04-01)
MacIntyre indicts the university for its lack of integration, the disconnections among the disciplines, and the intellectual disregard of one discipline for another. (The Chronicle Review)
About the Author
Alasdair MacIntyre is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He has written 16 books, including After Virtue, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, A Short History of Ethics, and, more recently, Edith Stein: A Philosophical Prologue, 1913-1922.
Top customer reviews
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The book presents itself as the summary of a "History of Catholic Philosophy' course given at Notre Dame, and those who took that course were blessed. Although it would serve as a fine introduction to Catholic philosophy, it is also a good, compact reminder for those who have already studied that material. I found myself not only enjoying the thread of Catholic philosophy, compared with secular philosophy and Catholic theology, but I obtained new insights on several individual thinkers.
For instance, I was not aware (or forgot) the extent to which Descartes had borrowed the 'cogito ergo sum' from Augustine. I never knew how much John Henry Newman depended on Joseph Butler. MacIntyre underscores the sad fact that just as the Enlightenment philosophers flourished, Catholics philosophy became moribund, which explains why we are still trying to 'catch up' with critiquing the modern philosophy which underscored the Enlightenment and modernity.
In conclusion, MacIntyre focuses on (St.) Edith Stein and Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), especially his encyclical letter "Fides et Ratio," Faith and Reason. For true, and even orthodox, Catholic thinking, one must not choose between a rationalistic philosophy, or a fideistic, fundamentalistic faith, but it must be a both/and.
And in the contemporary era, Catholic universities have tried too hard to 'keep up the with the [secular university] Jones,' while not trying to integrate the wisdom gleaned from the various physical, economic and psychological sciences, contrary to the Catholic-founded universities of the middle ages, and the thinking of Cardinal Newman. If and when they do not, they are not helpful toward their original mission, of evangelization through scholarship. Highly recommended.
This book is no exception. For believers it clarifies the problems of God and Faith while showing why God and Faith are rejected by so many. The reflection of our society in the university systems of the west, beginning with Descartes to today squares with my experience. I was instructed in a midieval system. On day one of High School I knew in order what subjects I would take and my date of graduation. Same for college. Everything was connected. When I went to a modern university I found that connections between disciplines were few and even the philosophy department was pretty disjointed and chaotic.
This book ends with a powerfully compelling challenge. "Catholic Philosophy will only return to its rightful place as a mainstream contenter in modern philosphy when it engagages, incorporates, and transcends all philosopical views. Catholic Philosophy is called, in his mind, to present a compelling and dynamic picture of Truth.
He explains that authentically Catholic philosophy and theology can make a real and needed contribution to most universities by providing an integrated understanding of the unity of knowledge and the relationship between the different academic disciplines. The assumed naturalism of most university departments tends to be unconscious and therefore unquestioned. Thus anyone interested in truth would benefit by examining thoroughly these and any other assumed philosophical positions. MacIntyre also argues that this naturalism is just as dogmatic as any faith commitment, but often goes unexamined.
He discusses a wide range of thinkers from Augustine & Anselm, to the medieval Islamic philosophers, obviously Thomas Aquinas, and onto others such as Pascal, Descartes, Newman, Pope John Paul II and many others. MacIntyre is himself a Thomist but he nonetheless includes the contributions of non-Thomist Catholics in the modern period.
It is a great book, and for the most part highly readable. I just wish this book would reach non-Catholics too because I think he's spot on that even the secular university is badly in need of analyzing its own assumptions and underlying philosophical commitments.
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