Symposium explores philosopher MacIntyre's work
(16 January 2007)
On 10 & 11 January an unusual event took place at Durham Business School. Called a "MacIntyre Symposium" it drew together academics from three different disciplines to explore the work of the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre.
MacIntyre, known as a critic of modernity, is still hard at work in what would otherwise have been a period of extended retirement, and has the unusual distinction of being read more widely outside of his own discipline than from within. His work finds application particularly in Political Theory, Economic Sociology and Organisation Studies / Business Ethics, as well as in disciplines such as Education. He has also argued that it is in the nature of a University, when operating as it should, that interdisciplinary work is conducted. It was with all this in mind that 13 people spent a day and a half together hearing brief presentations on different aspects of his from each discipline, and then talking with each other about the understanding and application of his work. It was one of those events where the output is hard to measure. As MacIntyre himself argues, one of the problems of modernity is that everything is done for the sake of something else and nothing is done for its own sake. This was an attempt just to "do it" - the event was, in a real sense, its own reward.