PHIL 5393: Contemporary Thomism

Course Department
Credits 3
Course ID
This course will consider the work of John Finnis, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Servais Pinckaers, who are arguably the three most significant Thomists of the past twenty-five years. Each represents a different background and scholarly community. John Finnis has a background in analytical jurisprudence and has been influential in the revival of natural law in political philosophy and philosophy of law. Alasdair Macintyre’s background is in Anglo-American philosophy, sociology and the New Left. His book After Virtue was enormously influential in philosophical circles and he has since developed a more Thomist position. He has had great influence in moral philosophy, both Protestant and Catholic theology, and political philosophy. Servais Pinckaers is a francophone Dominican and his theological formation was at LaSartre and Rome. He was a professor at the University of Fribourg. His attempt to revive Thomist moral theology is the best known. Although the content of his work is closer to that of MacIntyre than that of Finnis, his Dominican background and theological concerns set him off sharply from MacIntyre. The course will focus on these figures’ various approaches to such themes as moral goodness, practical reasoning, the common good and justice.