Saturday, November 10, 2012
Like Rick, I'm greatly enjoying the Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture's Fall conference on "The Crowning Glory of the Virtues: Exploring the Facets of Justice." Judging by the quality of the conference, Carter Snead is proving himself a worthy successor to David Solomon as Director of the Center. (Not that there was any doubt that he would be, but that is a hard act to follow.)
These conferences are always marked by the breadth of the speakers, disciplines, and topics addressed. As much as I love having my mind stretched by a few days of such wide-ranging and stimulating discourse, I always leave feeling slightly discouraged by the ever-increasing list of things I really want to read. Alisdair MacIntyre yesterday afternon made a compelling case that any American Catholic could better understand her place in our current polarized political climate by reading the poetry of Charles Peguy, and memorizing more of the poetry of Walt Whitman. Robby George & Michael Sandel's colloquy on "The Moral Limits of Markets" added to my reading list Sandel's new book, What Money Can't Buy, which I now feel I ought to read so I can decide whether Robby or Sandel was correct about whether it's wrong of me to try to get my kids to do their homework by paying them money, or by prodding them to do it "because they love mommy", and whether or not I ought to call doing either of those things "bribing", or "incentivizing" or some new word that hasn't yet been invented.
For those of you who might want to join the fun here today for a day's worth of programming that ends with an evening talk by John Finnis on "The Priority of Persons Revisited", if you aren't an early enough riser to catch the panel with Rick Garnett, Michael Moreland & Paul Horwitz chewing the fat on religious liberty & justice, you can slip in at 3:15 to hear me (as well as Paolo Carozza and Andrea Simoncini) on a panel on "Elementary Human Experience and the Foundations of Law."