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Edward T. Oakes

Catholic priest, philosopher, author of Pattern of Redemption and editor of German Essays on Religion, both from Continuum Books


Moral philosophers are caught in a peculiar paradox these days. On the one hand, their field is flourishing: No longer intimidated by the logical positivists (who denied truth to moral assertions except as expressions of likes and dislikes), thinkers as diverse as Iris Murdoch, Martha Nussbaum, and Bernard Williams are leading the attack against such debilitating philosophical notions as Hume's notorious 'Is/Ought' distinction and Kant's simplistic fusion of morality with mere duty. On the other hand, the world in which these moral philosophers flourish is a world that has lost its moral bearings in an unprecedented way.

Aug. 01, 1996 - from "The Achievement of Alasdair MacIntyre", published in First Things