Hart has Reasons that Reason Cannot Know By Thaddeus J. Kozinski, Ph.D.

Both the classical and new natural law schools are wrong if they think that the natural law can be known in abstraction from tradition and culture, which is, at heart, theological. The classical view of metaphysics, at least as articulated by Edward Feser, presupposes an extrinsicist understanding of the relation of nature and grace, and reason and Faith, and is, therefore, not Thomistic. It’s as if Feser has not read, or just not digested, the work of John Milbank, Tracey Rowland, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Of course, the error of the new natural law theorists is grave compared to such extrinsicism, namely, the adequacy of practical reason alone to ground and explain ethical theory and practice. But I think David Hart is pointing to the need to transcend both the classical, dare I say, rationalist natural law school, and the Grisezians. In my view, both the classical and the new traditions neglect these four realities: 1) the mutually dependent relation of speculative and practical reason; 2) the subjectivity-shaping role of social practices; 3) the tradition-constituted-and-constitutive character of practical rationality; and 4) the indispensability of divine revelation in ethical inquiry and practice. I would just like to cite and comment upon some passages from Alasdair MacIntyre, Jean Porter, Jacques Maritain, and D. Stephen Long that challenge both NNL (new natural law) and the ONL (old natural law), by showing that these four aforementioned characteristics of ethical realty are theoretically and practically essential. In so doing, I back Hart’s critique. The mutually dependent relation of speculative and practical reason Regarding the mutually dependent relation of practical and speculative reason, Jean Porter has written: Aquinas makes it clear that reason in its practical operations always presupposes a rational desire for some perceived good, which in turn presupposes an intellectual grasp of the good in question as both attainable, and in some way consistent with the agent's overall happiness. Thus, reason in its practical operations presupposes a whole array of judgments, more or less well developed and articulated, about the final end of human life, the individual's own proper path to this end, and the way in which the desideratum at hand relates to the attainment of this end {ST I.I.I; II-II.4.7). These judgments, in turn, presuppose the operations of speculative reason, as informed both by natural processes of inquiry and by the virtue of faith — a virtue, we should note, of speculative reason {ST II-II.4.2 ad 3).1


and tradition. and action. their relation to one another. although still able and inherently ordered to transcend particularity and contingency to reach universal and necessary truth. desire and voluntary activity have not yet risen to the level of fully rational human action. By the same token. speculative reason is necessary. however. purpose. or speculative knowledge of what it is to be human likewise guides and directs those practical judgments. The subjectivity-shaping role of social practices Alasdair MacIntyre makes clear that not only practical but speculative reason is dependent. About social practices and their relation to ethical knowledge and activity. can judge the value of and act to secure goods without considering speculatively the ontological nature of these goods. but that is at least partly because at this level.3 2 . but at the same time. the more securely it is grounded in such a theory. and partially definitive of. It is not necessary to have a sound empirical and philosophical theory of human nature in order to develop such an account. informed and constituted as it is by natural inclinations towards self-evident goods. with the result that human powers to achieve excellence. about the inclinations or anything else.It is certainly the case that practical reason alone. children. are systematically extended. an individual must arrive at some kind of speculative account concerning the proper end of human life. for such judgments and actions to rise to the level of full rationality. MacIntyre has written: By a practice I am going to mean any coherent and complex form of socially established co-operative human activity through which goods internal to that form of activity are realised in the course of trying to achieve those standards of excellence which are appropriate to. but all things being equal. We are here in the realm of infants. that form of activity. requiring speculative information from and judgments about the world outside and inside us regarding our nature. the objects of the inclinations does not presuppose a speculative theory.2 Porter makes clear here that practical reason is only relatively autonomous. In order to attain a capacity for fully rational action. choice. and destiny. and of his or her life in particular {ST I-II. shaped at its very core by social practices. our expanding speculative knowledge and understanding of human nature can and should inform and correct our concept of the final end of human life. and man’s ultimate end.89.6). and human conceptions of the ends and goods involved. one's account of the overall end of human life will be more adequate. The relation between practical argument and speculative knowledge is thus reciprocal and mutually correcting. Porter again: The desire for. we do come to understand what it means to be human through our experiences of practical judgment. and (perhaps) immature and unreflective adults. history. in this way informing practical judgment. and voluntary pursuit of.

one’s life narrative is. that latter which empower those actions by which goods can be both recognized and possessed. The turn to the subject is only possible via the good-recognizing power actualized by participation in practices.”5 MacIntyre calls the unity of the narrative of one’s entire life “the unity of a narrative quest. one of the bearers of tradition. including the particular culture(s) in which it developed. so we must have participated in that practice for recognition to take place. and an extrinsic and contingent experience of social formation and active participation in this formation. a specific past that is present to some degree in my present. A narrative encompasses one’s entire life.For MacIntyre individual men qua individuals can neither know nor possess the goods that practical reason recognizes in and through the natural law. 3 . and though any particular story is as unpredictable as the living actions that constitute its plot. Moreover. whether I like it or not. is in key part what I inherit. not the subjective self. They are present to the soul’s internal purview only as a result of a dynamical interplay between an intrinsic and necessary human nature and set of inclinations.”6 Life narratives are themselves components of a more comprehensive narrative. the criteria for moral evaluation and judgment (and the goods evaluated and judged). practices have life histories. Moreover. actions and the practices in which they occur can only be made intelligible as part of a social narrative: “I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what stories do I find myself a part?’”4 The tradition-constituted-and-constitutive character of practical rationality Rationality is not only practice-and-narrative-shaped. Individual judgments and actions can only be judged as good or bad. as it were. which can certainly be discovered subjectively. nevertheless. They must submit their individual bodies. teleological: “There are constraints on how the story can continue. the self and the goods one finds in subjective introspection are not entirely one’s own. in which everyone is ineluctability and intimately involved: “What I am. therefore. to add to the supra-subjective character of the natural-law. are not acquired and possessed subjectively. And. and these are embedded in the grand narrative of a tradition. whether I recognize it or not. minds and wills to the communal standards and judgments of a practice. as it were. virtuous or vicious according to the moral criteria intrinsic to social practices. They are socially participated. an inherited moral tradition. Although one can enter into one’s subjectivity to discover the natural law and the goods and ends perfective of oneself. imaginations. emotions.”7 Just as individual participants in practices have historical life narratives that characterize their identities. but also tradition-constituted-andconstitutive. the successful participation in which both requires and develops the virtues. I find myself part of a history and that is generally to say. To recognize the natural law is to recognize the goods internal to a practice.

their otherwise philosophically and strategically sound “turn to the subject” approach appears Cartesian. confusing the mode of being of things with the human mode of knowing them. sentient. However. with the former relatively autonomous in its methodology and conclusions. it is the isolation and self-absorption of ‘the great-man’ [turned only to his own subjectivity?] which thrusts upon him the burden of being his own self-sufficient moral authority. cannot consider his philosophizing to be theologically neutral.”9 Descartes erred in mischaracterizing the extra-subjective. 4 .to understand the practice itself. we must participate in the tradition that transmits and shapes that practice. communal influences such as tradition and history. Maritain does distinguish between moral philosophy and moral theology. The indispensability of divine revelation in ethical inquiry and practice—the Hart of the matter For Jacques Maritain any science of human action that excludes the realm of the supernatural from its purview is deficient. ex individuo in his self-consciousness. and historical genealogy of the ideas he thought to have discovered ex nihilo or.’ Historically. and (2) his ultimate happiness is not to be found in this world. his faith presents to him at least two incontrovertible and ethically relevant supernatural truths about man’s existence in this world: (1) man is fallen and redeemed. one can never find an ‘unaided’ or ‘pure’ form of reason. cosmology. Always reason has worked in consort with other things—theology. the philosopher of Christian Faith. and radically so. mythology. science—and there simply are no examples of a reason isolated from and not bearing the mark of some historical context. then the goods. and with them the only grounds for the authority of laws and virtues. For if the conception of a good has to be expounded in terms of such actions as those of a practice. and resolving its judgments in the light of human reason alone. even when engaged in public discourse about the natural law with nonChristians and non-theists. There is no such thing as “pure ethics” if that means a discourse or methodology that excludes consideration of what God has revealed about the destiny of man. can only be discovered by entering into those relationships which constitute communities whose central bond is a shared vision of and understanding of goods. of the narrative unity of a human life and of a moral tradition. perhaps. Insofar as both ONL and NNL leaves out of the discussion the way in which subjectivity is shaped by supra-subjective.8 Glenn Olsen writes. quoting Blessed Cardinal Newman: “‘There never was a time when reason was unaided. MacIntyre: [I]f the account of the virtues which I have defended can be sustained.

”13 Because in a practical science ends serve as principles. we can characterize Maritain’s conception of moral philosophy as neither completely autonomous from theology nor essentially identical to it. The implicit denial of this end is at the heart of John Rawls’s project. practical psychology. In this subalternation.12 As Maritain puts it. collective psychology. moral philosophy adequately considered looks on this same ultimate end above all insofar as it brings completion to human nature. that is. but at the risk of simplification. any practical science that does not know the ends of its subject matter does not possess its own principles. if it is not to misrepresent and scientifically distort its object. Here is a philosophy which must of necessity be a superelevated philosophy. shines the light of human reason on this data. in his existential being. It is dependent upon theology because it is incomplete without it. What Maritain means by this term is philosophically complex. without the light of divine revelation. in the widest sense of the word. “Theology looks on the supernatural ultimate end first and foremost as a sharing of the intimate life of God. he is fallen and redeemed. sociology. in so far as it bears on all practical matters of human action. and since man’s end is the first principle of both moral theology and moral philosophy. . does not possess its first principle. then moral philosophy. moral philosophy makes the data offered to it by moral theology its own. In this way. a philosophy subalternated to theology.”10 Maritain wrote: Man is not in a state of pure nature. Since man’s ultimate end is unknowable by the light of human reason alone. . and thus arrives at first principles and conclusions of a philosophical character. politics and economics. moral philosophy is 5 . .But even the non-Catholic or non-theistic ethical philosopher cannot adopt a purely agnostic stance towards the existence of an ethically and politically relevant supernatural reality because his understanding of and particular prescriptions for the fundamental structure of the social and political order necessarily imply either an affirmation or denial of the supernatural end of man. either to become integrated with or at least subalternated to theology. not the light of divine revelation. it is distinct from yet dependent upon moral theology. as well as individual morality. it is distinct from theology in that it resolves its judgments in the natural light of practical reason and experience. is not a purely philosophic discipline. therefore. and . 11 Ethical inquiry is incomplete and bound to err if it is not “subalternated” to theology. moral philosophy must be subalternated to theology. ethics. and it is the fundamental explanation for the failure of his attempt to articulate a “purely political” conception of justice able to serve as a generic module fitting into any comprehensive doctrine whatsoever—as long as it is “reasonable. Consequently. . .—ethics in so far as it takes man in his concrete state. Of itself it has to do with theology.

and capable of existing as such in gradu scientia practicae: it is that one which takes into account at once the essence and the state. for this is God's essence and is known only by faith. Christ is the Image of God and all creation is made in and toward that image. therefore. that God loves us. We can debate the political and philosophical ramifications of the affirmation that we are made in the image of God. Christ is the Wisdom in which. or perhaps just encountered those 6 . He affirms the validity of the distinction between and the relative autonomy of both moral philosophy and moral theology. was one of the main points of Benedict XVI’s. philosophy and theology or reason and faith such that they offered two sets of distinct norms. the order of nature and the order of grace. It is not that Maritain denies that the natural law is inaccessible to human reason.“superelevated” and perfected so that it can become “adequate to its object. yet it alone allows us finally to understand creation and therefore the moral life. It is true that all our knowledge of nature does not explicitly require faith. caritas in veritate. we fail to recognise the essence of the moral life. based upon whether we have or have not encountered the living Christ. nothing exists outside sacred doctrine. Directly related to this teaching is the dogma of the Incarnation. which is pursuing and completing the purpose to our creation. We do not have a 'nature' that is accessible without it.” namely. and the Incarnation and moral philosophy in these two passages: Thomas never divided 'nature' and Christology. we either affirm these truths or we do not. man’s end. a purely natural ethics can be neither adequate to human experience nor entirely accurate to reality: There is. in the end. complete. as he unquestionably did.15 The inseparability of faith and reason. if we cannot understand creation. The virtue of faith presupposes specific teachings of the Church handed down to us in Scripture and interpreted by tradition. however rich in partial truths they may be. For Thomas. Without it we would not know God is Triune. Pope Emeritus’s. This was not possible for him because as the Second Person of the Trinity. First comes the teaching of the Triune God. But since for Maritain man is not in a pure state of nature. and without them we cannot understand creation. through which and toward which all creation exists. This means that all desire can ultimately be ordered toward its true end. for this end is also the source and way of that desire.14 D. in both theory and practice. All the great ethical systems which are ignorant of the ways of grace. and that He commands us to “be perfect as His father in heaven is perfect”. these two doctrines reinforce each other. even just practical reason acting by and through itself. meant any kind of limitation on speaking about nature. encyclical teachings. however. are bound to be deficient. Stephen Long makes the case for the inseparability of faith and reason. He could not have countenanced the possibility that beginning moral theology with Christology. nature and grace. only one science of human conduct which is authentic.

choice and grace. On the other hand. pluralistic political culture. derivation. and historical in their genealogy and in the subjective apparatus of human recognition. In other words. The right and the good must live together or die alone. Hart is correct that arguments about and declarations of principled moral prescriptions and proscriptions. and rhetorical aspects of ethics must invite theology as an interlocutor. human rights and moral values. Here MacIntyre sums up what he considers the essential problem with a natural-law morality and argumentation that tries to transcend contingency and experience. epistemic. universal. not just logic. cannot ensure a public commitment to and embodiment of Christian or even humanistic values in our post-Enlightenment.” where natural-law norms. So. for it is sub-rational. history-and-experience transcending logos is ultimately indeterminate. and fulfillment of human life and experience. as Feser maintains. is ultimately sterile. even rigorous and true ones. Moral principles are experiential. and integral political and legal embodiment or rights and values. As Hart’s argument suggests. it is also tradition-transcendent (cum Kant). Somehow we must hold these together. which is required for the effective. in prescinding from experiential genealogy and a moderate historicist sensibility. And this n eglect of theology is Hart’s very pertinent point. and Hart is right that we cannot do so outside of a theological narrative and discourse. MacInytre is critiquing Maritain’s “democratic charter. cultural.Christians who have. if human acts are a matter of experience. not religious or philosophical particularity. Public reason in today’s secular culture mistakenly eschews any theological dogma that might shed authoritative light on the ultimate meaning. evidence and demonstration. whether Aristotelian-eudaimonistic or Kantiandeontological in mode. a discourse-of-moral-experiencealone absent the universal. authentic. The plain pre-philosophical person is always a person of sufficient moral capacities. They also lack a communally shared ethos. But what Maritain failed to reckon with adequately was the fact that in many cultures and notably in that of modernity plain persons are misled into giving moral expression to those capacities through assent to false 7 . But Feser is right that we can and must transcend these contingencies to see and act on principles in an absolute. then any debate about the metaphysical. are the bases for political consensus: What Maritain wished to affirm was a modern version of Aquinas’ thesis that every human being has within him or herself a natural knowledge of divine law and hence of what every human being owes to every other human being. Western nation-states lack a shared intellectual tradition to provide grounding for the abstract meaning of universal. the discourse of-moral-principle-alone. although reason is tradition-dependent (pace Kant). and eternal way. neo-pagan.

but only particular rationalities informed by particular religious. shared moral evaluation and understanding is extremely limited. ethical. one should not expect rational agreement on practical matters of a moral nature. and value and pursue moral goods without conscious deference to a particular philosophical theory or religious belief. logic-derived articulation of moral goods and rights cannot serve as the political foundation of a tradition-pluralistic regime. and Tradition (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. nevertheless. Feser’s model would be analogous to Maritain’s. they. philosophical. 8 . Kantian. with citizens divided in traditional allegiance. These commitments determine to some extent the character of behavior that is the conclusion of the practical reasoning that begins with the evaluation and pursuit of a particular good. Rousseauian.” in reality. including a common reservoir of theological. if not impossible altogether. Genealogy.” 2 For MacIntyre. 1990). there is no rationality as such. So it has been since the eighteenth century with assent to a conception of rights alien to and absent from Aquinas’ thought.1 According to this view. In practice. Therefore. As MacIntyre argues in Whose Justice? Which Rationality?: “There is no way to engage with or to evaluate rationally the theses advanced in contemporary form by some particular tradition except in terms of which are framed with an eye to the specific character and history of that tradition on the one hand and the specific character and history of the particular individual or individuals on the other. philosophical. a strictly principled. 2 MacIntyre. possesses implicit and unconscious philosophical and theological commitments that influence and condition the character and interpretation of that evaluation and pursuit. Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia. 76. and epistemological commitments that condition the manner in which that rationality is applied to practical questions. especially not on the foundational moral values of the political order. et. Whose Justice? Which Rationality?. the former inevitably takes the shape of the particular lived tradition of which it is a part. culturally dependent rational animals” that cannot effectively separate our beliefs from our values and the actions derived from them. Since rationality itself is a practice. Humean. Deweyean. obligation-laden. and anthropological concepts. This is why we have so much moral disagreement in our public discourse. in the absence of a shared tradition of practical rationality. anthropological. that constitute a shared tradition. For MacIntyre. Nietzchean. it is a house built on sand with a sinking foundation of entirely disparate understandings of that lexicon and radically disparate traditions of practical rationality: Thomist. Though the citizens in a pluralistic polity may share a common lexicon of “human rights” and “democratic values. Tracey 1 Alasdair MacIntyre. and so not sufficiently aware of the fact that while men may argue and think about moral truth. especially the architectonic practice of politics. al. For we are “tradition-constituted. then.philosophical theories. and common virtues and goods attained in and through the various practices. 398.

3 But let us suppose it is true that citizens belonging to the same narrative tradition would form a more unified. robust. to render it intelligible to non-theists and practically effective for secular society. to individuals conceived as abstracted from their particularities of character. as it were. Thomist. 3 Alasdair MacIntyre. We cannot have forced conversions to our narrative of choice. yet they also tend to limit the participation in and scope of these practices and discourses to the in-house crowd. political sphere from the particularity of our traditions. Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. and politicizing what is distinctly theological and spiritual in our tradition. and especially the natural law. Unfortunately. the demographic and sociological exigencies of the modern.Rowland describes MacIntyre’s position: “Macintyre’s analysis raises the question of whether there can be any such things as ‘universal values. thereby secularizing. a program of translation— a translation of dogma. even if it seems impossible. but rather…the idea that there is a set of values which are of general appeal across a range of traditions. and circumstance. It is urged to speak only the language of principled. charitable acts. 9 . 1988). moralizing. and Liberal traditions. universal “public reason” to strangers. both in doctrine and in practice. and so we must accept the limitations of our “concrete historical ideal.” MacIntyre again: Abstract from the particular theses to be debated and evaluated from their contexts within traditions of enquiry and then attempt to debate and evaluate them in terms of their rational justifiability to any rational person. thus for the most part effectively precluding the voices of tradition outside liberalism from being heard. and for the secular public sphere in general.’ understood not in a natural law sense. history. so that exceptionless and self-evident rights and laws deriving ultimately from the law of non-contradiction and man’s obvious end-inhimself dignity.” as Maritain would say: the fact of religious pluralism requires us to attempt. Yet it is just such abstraction in respect of both of the theses to be debated and the persons to be engaged in the debate which is enforced in the public forms of enquiry and debate in modern liberal culture. would serve as the most effective public discourse. For those outside their tradition. But can such be done? Is this kind of acquired schizophrenia necessary to be a good pluralist citizen? Conservative theists such as Feser endorse wholeheartedly the infusion of integrally religious practices and discourse into the naked public square. the separation of the public. including the Nietzschean. pluralistic nation state preclude such narrative unity. ritual. and you will thereby make the kind of rational dialogue which could move through argumentative evaluation to the rational acceptance of rejection of a tradition of enquiry effectively impossible. legal. stable and strong political order. 399.

the relation of the natural law and divine law. In the same vein. from both the old and new schools. The second idea that must be reconsidered is the easy separability of theoria and praxis. and that goods are inherently incommensurable are problematic when one considers their political implications. specifically. as Long points out: “Ethics cannot be the province of a philosophical discourse that brackets out theological consideration. or the will to power. are claims about the 10 . The first is that there is such a thing as the “secular. without some theological specification. universal. public world accessible to and based upon a universal public reason. particularly in the evaluation of religious pluralism and the role of the secular state vis-à-vis the common good.However. but their claims that religion is not an architectonic good. if there is no objective. then it would seem that all we are left with are the postmodernist hermeneutics of suspicion. The citizen who is a believer in a being who has clearly and publicly revealed to man his will for the political order must deem a denial and even a studied ignorance regarding the existence of such a publicly accessible divine revelation as not only intellectually unjustified but also politically unjust. However. the confidence that one can effectively strain out from the concrete practices and particularist discourse of one’s tradition a secular. if not. and Hart’s article is a firs step in such examination. and the relation of the Catholic Church to politics. unless philosophers assume a being greater than God giving access to goodness. Porter remarks: I remain convinced that even on the most optimistic showing. public reason.”17 I wonder what judgment the natural law people who disagree with Hart are making in this regard. apparent circumscription of political authority to the natural law alone. universally accessible remainder that is intelligible to all regardless of traditional allegiance. abstracted from the practical and speculative particularities of tradition. It would take a separate article to discuss both ONL and NNL’s understanding of the good of religion and its relation to the other goods. Now. a theory of the natural law developed along these lines will remain indeterminate and incomplete. I am not accusing conservatives of anything like studied ignorance or denial here. where any affirmation of true or good are unmasked as wither mere idiosyncrasy or the will to dominate. Natural law and politics I think the clearest example of where theology bears upon philosophy is in enquiries regarding the ideal political order. What I have in mind. this strategy presupposes two fundamental ideas that need to be reexamined. and the common good. and the natural law to the deliverances of practical reason alone.” that is. an ideologically neutral. Any moral or political theory involving the question of ultimate political authority that excludes this theological issue from its purview inevitably makes a theological judgment. the state.16 Here I will just sketch some of my concerns with the political implications of many defenders of the natural law who took issue with Hart.

reasonable. the natural law that we indeed discover first by turning within. so in discussions of the foundation. or that the best mode of public discourse is one that begins with revelation. As both ONL and NNL make clear. hidden theology. beautiful. and intelligibility of the natural law. as it were. Nor does it mean that we cannot or should not offer a compelling. Beginning with the natural law is rightly the standard operating procedure for Catholics and other theists discoursing in our relativistic world and deeply pluralistic culture. ancient rise and plausibility of Stoicism. There is a distinct tendency in both ONL and NNL to render what is and can only be partial as being the whole account. Reason. thereby becoming a distorted. rest ultimately on theological foundations—and I think they do—then the deliverances of natural law. purely philosophical. even if He is saved for last. but I would argue that they are never fully adequate to our experience without a robust theological account. our capacities for self-direction grounded in rational judgment. and practice of natural law. The creation of the universe was and is in and through the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. identified by the scholastics as the very Image of God — and correlatively. to me. I would still argue. intelligibility. as St. This is not to say that theology should always be the starting point for our understanding of the phenomenon both of obligation and of our orientation towards goods and the good—and here NNL is right that subjectivity is as good a starting point as any. God waits for us. not sound philosophy. as I do in the current book. If widely accepted political norms. and coherent supra-rational foundation for the existence.centrality and value of certain aspects of human nature — namely. that there are some norms. I remain convinced that this congeries of claims depends on theological commitments. I wonder if the reason for the contemporary popularity of “philosophical. let alone those given by practical reason alone—are just not enough. rational explanations of moral experience and motivations for moral activity exist and can be valid. natural. strong commitments to the equal value of all persons (including those in whom the relevant capacities are damaged or undeveloped). This is. is bound to close in on itself when it is not open to the transcendent. not theological” conceptions of natural law is analogous to the reason for the great. Jesus Christ must be central. and this bespeaks ideology. such as the right to freedom of conscience and speech. It is only to say that one simply cannot leave out divine revelation—because one cannot leave out creation. politically speaking. as Father James Schall has argued persuasively18 and as Hart echoes. what Hart was getting at. where. And this is also not to say that practical reason alone can provide no grounding for or direction to our moral experience. another inexorably partial ethics that tended to consider itself the whole. This being so. but this does not mean we should always end with the natural law. Augustine came to know. which ultimately rest on specifically theological foundations. including especially those connected to doctrines of natural or human rights. Stoicism became 11 . force. universality.

I think Hart is right to exaggerate the need for the Church and theology to counteract this pathology. For such an article. 187. 9.. Flannery (New York: Philosophical Library. 15. Ibid. goodness. 13. in our anti-Aristotelian age. 216. Second Edition (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. the potentiality that all plain persons have for developing out of their experience of practices an Aristotelian understanding of themselves can be frustrated.19 we feel even more bereft of the communities and traditions upon which we can depend intellectually and spiritually to shape our subjectivity and communicate truth. 72. 6. 337-374. Jean Porter. 258. “St. are a universal feature of human cultures. MD: Lexington Books). John Finnis. 64. 219. The Thomist 64 (2000). 221.3 (2006). The Turn to Transcendence: The Role of Religion in the Twenty-First Century (Washington. 353.P. 14. D.C. 4. Ibid. 83-84. Lawrence S... and in the cultural anomie that followed. MacIntyre suggests the following relevant insight: Practices. 8. 3. 1. 347. and by himself. Because only in an Aristotelian perspective can that significance be rightly understood. And the dominant cultures of modernity are apt so to frustrate it. 11. What this may prevent and does prevent in the cultures distinctive of modernity is the development of an Aristotelian understanding of the significance of practices in terms of the whole life of an individual and the life of communities. 16. Translated by Edward H. 13. 7. “The Way of Aquinas: Its Importance for Moral Theology” Studies in Christian Ethics 19. Stephen Long.. Ibid. D. 12 .plausible and popular when the ancient Greek polis disappeared. by his own reason. Ibid. and beauty. Alasdair MacIntyre. 38-39. After Virtue. Jacques Maritain. ed..: CUA Press. Ibid. Cunningham (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. and the Political Good”. in our milieu of deeply pluralistic cyber “communities” suffused with zombie-like consumers. An Essay on Christian Philosophy. “Does the Natural Law Provide a Universally Valid Morality?” in Intractable Disputes about the Natural Law: Alasdair MacIntyre and his Critics. and within which we can know and obey the natural and divine laws. pp. Ibid. Glenn Olsen. 1984). 2009). except among those who live on their margins.20 Thus. 5. 1955).. 80-81. 2. 10. Ibid. Thomas. 2010. Feser misses the Hart of the matter. though. 2010). 233. O. millions of tradition-and-community starved people felt they could only depend upon themselves for knowledge of their good and to attain virtue. as I understand them. Ibid.. we have moved to exclusive ethical reliance upon what every individual regardless of belief or tradition or community can discover in. 81. although in some they may be radically marginalized and their significance deeply obscured. see Lawrence Dewan. If anything. See Chapter One and Two of my The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can’t Solve It (Lanham. Ibid.

D. see John Médaille. 2001).17. D. and Social Order (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press. James Schall. Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. July 28.frontporchrepublic. Stephen Long.com/2011/07/will-there-be-zombies/. 20.C. 1988).: Catholic University of America Press). 19. The Goodness of God: Theology. 2011: available at http://www. 287. For an incomparable discussion of why the zombie analogy is apt. 13 . At the Limits of Political Philosophy (Washington. 1996. “Will There be Zombies.” Front Porch Republic. 18. The Church. Alasdair MacIntyre. 300.

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