Michael McCarthy ~ Philosophy

After forty years of teaching, I wanted to resume more fully a life of thinking and writing. I now spend my days in the Vassar library surrounded by books, my trusted computer and the youthful strangers who’ve come to Vassar since I retired.

I’ve also found a second intellectual home at Boston College where I’ve been a visiting fellow, delivered five public lectures, led three faculty seminars and serve on the board of the Lonergan Institute.

The quiet of the library is conducive to writing. In the last five years, I’ve published four papers and completed two books, The Political Humanism of Hannah Arendt, recently published by Rowman Littlefield, the other, Objective Knowing and Authentic Living: the Enduring Achievement of Bernard Lonergan, still seeking a home. When the muse visits, I’ve also written poetry, sometimes as a form of prayer, always as personal communication with close friends and family. In some ways, these poems serve as unexpected replacements for my spontaneous classroom homilies, or riffs, on matters great and small.

Though more distant now, I’ve remained active in the Vassar community, helping to create the AEVC (the Associated Emeritae/I of Vassar College), advising Sam Speers on his very important Secularity Project and lecturing occasionally on topics spiritual and political.

Later this spring, I’ll begin work on a new book on Charles Taylor, the great contemporary Canadian philosopher whose thought I deeply admire. All in all, a quiet life but full of inner richness and intensity.

Updated: August 2012