Rockford Institute president publishes book

• Book signing, public lecture, reception Thursday, April 15

Rockford Institute President Thomas Fleming announced the publication of his new book, The Morality of Everyday Life: Rediscovering An Ancient Alternative to the Liberal Tradition. Published by University of Missouri Press, the book is Fleming’s fourth. It is his second in the fields of social theory and ethics since his Politics of Human Nature of 11 years ago. The Rockford Institute will host a public lecture, reception and book signing at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 15 at 928 N. Main St.

The Morality of Everyday Life argues that both conservatives and liberals today work from the same flawed social theory: Enlightenment liberalism. This impossible theory depends on oversimplified abstractions that can never apply to any particular time or place. Fleming’s alternative is the premodern folk wisdom of, among other sources, ancient Greek literature and the Talmud.

Premodern thinking stresses the local, the particular, and the morally complex. Fleming calls for a return to the lost art of casuistry, which acknowledges the moral codes of Natural Law and Revelation, while allowing that particular circumstances effect moral choices. “Particular obligations arise from specific circumstances and experiences,” argues Fleming.

Emory University Professor of Philosophy Donald Livingston calls the book a “devastating critique of liberalism” that is “a pleasure to read.”

Admission is $10, $15 for married couples, and $1 for high school and college students (free to members of the press). A buffet reception will follow the forum. Seating is limited. For more information,call (815) 964-5811.

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