If you’re not able to attend, join us online April 21-22 for each of the two keynotes of the workshop “Practical Truth: Reflections on the Aristotelian Tradition”. We’ll be live streaming the two keynotes from the University of South Carolina at https://virtue.uchicago.edu/aristotle.
Stephen Brock, Holy Cross University – “Thomas Aquinas, the Bearer of Practical Truth, and the Rationality of Action”
Interpreters of what Aristotle calls practical truth differ about what its bearer is or what it is properly said of. As a result, they also differ about the distinction between practical and theoretical truth. It is generally agreed that the bearer of theoretical truth is an assertion or a judgment about some matter, and that such truth consists in the judgment’s describing the matter correctly. But while some hold that the same account applies to practical truth, others hold that its bearer is an action, and that what it consists in is the action’s conformity with right desire. Thomas Aquinas thinks the bearer of practical truth is a judgment. In this paper I present his position, consider some objections on behalf of the opposing view, and suggest what he would think is at stake the issue.
Stephen Brock’s keynote will be April 21 at 4:30 pm eastern time.
Anselm Mueller, Trier University – “Is Practical Truth a Chimera? Questions for Anscombe”
In a number of papers, Anscombe raises the “great question”: What is practical truth (PT)? Her answers are not elaborate but clear enough to raise further questions such as: Does PT have truth-conditions? What can be rendered practically true, and by what? – What Anscombe calls PT appears to be secured by actions’ being implemented in conclusion of a valid practical inference in which you derive a way of acting from good ends. But whose truth can be thus secured? If it is practical thought, its PT will require two seemingly separable conditions: goodness of ends, and implementation of the practical conclusion. This would deprive the notion of PT of the unity Anscombe’s explorations insinuate. If, on the other hand, PT is exhibit by actions, how can it also be produced by implementation of practical thought (= action!)? – A solution to the problems I have hinted at is suggested by consideration of the fundamental teleology of human nature.
Anselm Mueller’s keynote will be April 22 at 4:00 pm eastern time.