Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Science of Modern Virtue--A New Book

Northern Illinois University Press has published a new book edited by Peter Lawler and Marc Guerra, The Science of Modern Virtue: On Descartes, Darwin, and Locke.  My chapter in the book is entitled "The Darwinian Science of Aristotelian Virtue." 

Here's the Table of Contents:

Preface: Modern Science on Who We Are as Free and/or Relational Beings
1—Locke, Darwin, and the Science of Modern Virtue
Peter Augustine Lawler
2—The Virtue of Science and the Science of Virtue: Descartes' Overcoming of Socrates
Thomas Hibbs
3—Notes on “The Virtue of Science and the Science of Virtue”
Daniel P. Maher
4—More Cartesian than Descartes: Reflections on Spinoza in the Spirit of Tocqueville
Samuel Goldman
5—Locke's Explanation of How the Science of Civil Society Corrects the Natural Authority of Virtue
James R. Stoner, Jr.
6—The Problem of Human Equality in Locke's Political Philosophy
Sara M. Henary
7—Locke, Darwin, and the Social Individualism of Virtue
Lauren K. Hall
8—Descartes, Locke, and the Virtue of the Individual
Marc D. Guerra
9—Science, Virtue, and the Birth of Modernity; Or, On the Techno-Theo-Logic of Modern Neuroscience
Jeffrey P. Bishop
10—The Mutual Sacrifice of Science and Virtue
Ralph Hancock
11—The Scientific Life as a Moral Life? Virtue and the Cartesian Scientist
Tobin L. Craig
12—The Darwinian Science of Aristotelian Virtue
Larry Arnhart
13—Logon Didonai: The Case of the Darwinian Conservative
Paul Seaton

This book is based on material from a conference at Berry College, in the fall of 2010, on "The Science of Virtue."  I wrote a post on the conference, which includes links to other relevant posts.

At the conference, Paul Seaton (a philosophy professor at Saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore) was the commentator on my lecture.  His commentary consisted of some strangely comic remarks that were hard to understand.

Later, when I saw the edited NIU Press manuscript, I discovered that Seaton had written a long paper criticizing my paper, although he had not sent me a copy of his paper or even alerted me that he was writing such a paper.  Consequently, I had no opportunity to write a response.

I assume this was deliberate, because he says in his paper that he had concluded that "genuine philosophical dialogue was unlikely with Arnhart."  He also identifies me as "someone who shows no signs of being philosophical," as having "a mind that couldn't get outside of itself," as having a "phantasmagoric fancy," and as showing "carelessness of characterization and reading."  Those who read our papers can decide for themselves whether he's right.  But I doubt that anyone would say that I have the imaginative capacity required for "phantasmagoric fancy"!


Roger Sweeny said...

You just can't take a compliment :)

Rob Schebel said...

I'm sorry that Dr. Seaton made those comments about you, Professor Arnhart. I think it's 100% clear from your blogs, your other writing, your participating in panels and conferences, and especially your teaching, that you are open-minded, careful, and highly philosophical scholar.

John Farrell said...

Depressing that Dr. Seaton had neither the courtesy nor the courage to present his comments to you in person. Quite an example for a teacher at a Christian seminary.

Xenophon said...

Seaton is dead wrong. Having followed your blog for a while and read your books I can say that you display admirable willingness to listen to opposing views and engage in debate with your critics.