September 03, 2008
"If my hypothesis appeared initially plausible, it would certainly be false"
Posted by Gordon Smith

That is from Chapter 1 ("A Disquieting Suggestion") of Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, which is this semester's book in the Faith and Intellect Seminar for faculty here at BYU. The hypothesis to which MacIntyre refers is this: "We possess ... simulcra of morality, we continue to use many of the key expressions. But we have -- very largely, if not entirely -- lost our comprehension, both theoretical and practical, of morality."

The book is over a quarter century old, but I expect this to be a lively seminar. This is my third book in three semesters at BYU, and I am surprised that more people don't take the opportunity to attend. We usually get about 15-20 people, and a number of them are not faculty. I guess we are all busy, and I know that many people are not interested in reading books selected by others, given that their own reading lists are bulging at the seams. Still, this is a nice opportunity to benefit from the insights of others around campus while having a romp through the history of moral philosophy.

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