Friday, March 31, 2023

Judging the past by the … present of course!

Where the encyclopedists looked to the past, they assumed that all thinkers offered accounts “of the rational status of one and the same timeless subject matter” (28). The measuring of these accounts as better and worse depended upon the perception of progress toward the encyclopedists’ conception of truth—which is to say that the past was judged in light of the present, conceived as the acme of intellectual progress.—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 177 (quotation from Alasdair MacIntyre's 1988 Gifford Lectures)

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