Friday, March 31, 2023

But is it possible?

Second, we continue to act in alarge-scale way as if the encyclopedic inquiry is a live option. “Even now the organized institutions of the academic curriculum and the ways in which both enquiry and teaching are conducted in and through those institutions are structured to a significant degree as if we did believe much of what the major contributors to the Ninth Edition believed.” Institutions and curriculum, of course, are not the same thing as the publication outlets for scholarly world—journals, monograph series, and the like—but in fact these outlets often simply reflect the assumptions of the larger university’s structure. How we train is how we publish. “We often still behave as if there is . . . some underlying agreement about the academic project of just the kind in which those contributors believed.” Knowledge, Maclntyre implies, is socialized in a way that contradicts what we now know about knowledge; it is time to recognize the contradiction. “The ghosts of the Ninth Edition haunt the contemporary academy. They need to be exorcised” (171).—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 179 ((quotations from Alasdair MacIntyre's 1988 Gifford Lectures)

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