Michael Mc Carthy
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 nine years, I’ve published seven papers and completed two books, the first, The Political Humanism of Hannah Arendt, published by Rowman Littlefield; the second, Authenticity as Self Transcendence: the Enduring Insights of Bernard Lonergan, published by the University of Notre Dame Press. 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: October 2016