Monday, July 24, 2006

Alasdair MacIntyre update

In late 2005 Sheed & Ward, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, published Alasdair MacIntyre's latest book Edith Stein: A Philosophical Prologue: 1913-1922. Stein, canonized by John Paul II, was born into a devout Jewish family, became an atheist in her teens, then took up the study of philosophy under the famous phenomenologist, Edmund Husserl, during which period she also came into contact with Dietrich von Hildebrand and Max Scheler. Later she converted to Catholicism and entered the Carmelite order, and lost her life in Auschwitz to the Nazis. In his book, MacIntyre traces the neglected importance of Stein's philosophical development up to her conversion. Robert Sokolowski, a well-known phenomnologist in his own right, an professor at The Catholic University of America, comments that MacIntyre shows "how the word 'philosophical' can be said of a life as well as a doctrine. He describes the people, events and ideas in whose company Edith Stein lived in the decade that led to her baptism in 1922, and he defines phenomenology not as a method but as a dispotition to let the truth of things come to light."

In April of this year, Alasdair MacIntyre was also elected to the American Philosophical Society, the nations oldest learned society, founded by Benfamin Franklin in 1743 and headquartered in Philadelphia -- a singular privilege and honor. Alasdair MacIntyre is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture.