This book contends that the crises of well-being, distress, and dysfunction currently afflicting the legal profession, other professions, and our politics can best be addressed by encouraging people to pursue a flourishing life of meaning and purpose focused on achieving common goods in communities of excellence and virtue, especially in response to a calling. It draws centrally upon the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, arguably the most famous living moral philosopher and notorious for his critique of liberal democracy, its capitalist, large-scale market economy, and hyper-individualism in late Modernity.
Constructing a fishing village called Piscopolis as a central image and theoretical ideal, the book integrates relevant aspects of MacIntyre's Thomistic Aristotelianism into a clear, comprehensible, and original synthesis that also significantly expands and supplements MacIntyre's theoretical approach, including insights drawn from Heideggerian phenomenology. It examines the legal polis, the "fishing village of the law" called Juropolis, to illustrate how the Piscopolis ideal challenges members of the professions and suggests how the ideal might be deployed more broadly to organically transform the liberal democratic state into a "republic of virtue."
With the Covid-19 pandemic starkly revealing the need for such transformation, the book will interest both the MacIntyrean expert and novice alike and appeal broadly to moral and political philosophers, ethicists, theologians, legal professionals, professional development educators, and scholarly lay readers.
"Professor Jones acknowledges that 'the book draws centrally upon the critical thought of Alasdair MacIntyre,' But make no mistake about it: This book is above all the critical thought of Mark Jones. Not only does he have the gift of being able to think outside the box, but he also has the temperament and discipline to evaluate his own ideas and others' from a variety of perspectives. The result is a book that epitomizes what a serious discussion of ideas in our society should be all about."
—Gary Simson, Mercer University School of Law and Professor Emeritus of Law at Cornell Law School
"Mark Jones conjures a congenial, fraternal world that he explicitly recognizes is idealized, as much John Lennon as Alasdair MacIntye…an exceptional achievement amidst a self-referential zeitgeist that usually blinds us from imagining life either as it was or might be."
—Hal Lewis, Professor Emeritus at Mercer University School of Law