“MacIntyre and Lonergan” Revisited

James Duffy


In the fall of 1999, I drafted two essays for the annual meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA), which took place in St. Paul, Minnesota during the first week of November 1999. The essay that I presented, “Insights into and in the History of Philosophy,” was later published in the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. The second essay, “MacIntyre and Lonergan on the History of Philosophy,” was not presented at the ACPA. In the spring of 2000 I reworked this essay and submitted it to The Thomist for publication with the title “MacIntyre and Lonergan: Metaphysical Genealogies?”
Nineteen years later I am revisiting the essay I submitted to The Thomist. Why? Some things have happened in the last 20 years that have significantly changed my perspective regarding the effectiveness of comparing these two thinkers. Indeed, my perspective on the effectiveness of comparing any two or more thinkers has changed significantly, and I feel moved to articulate reasons for the change, as it calls into question a basic expectation and procedure of academic practice. What was I doing in the original essay? Why did it make sense to compare the two thinkers then, but it does not now? What difference does my change in perspective make? To whom might it make a difference?

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