Doctoral Dissertation Examines Communities for the Best Life

John Macias, doctoral candidate in the University of St. Thomas Center for Thomistic Studies, will publically defend his dissertation at 9:30 a.m. on May 9 in Sullivan Hall, located at 4218 Yoakum Blvd. His dissertation on the philosophy of Thomistic philosopher Alasdair Macintyre asks what type of political community MacIntyre believes will bring human beings to the best and most flourishing life.

John Macias

Macias said MacIntyre argues for small-scale political communities in which all citizens have the opportunity to contribute to deliberations about the common good of the community. His doctoral dissertation titled, “Alasdair MacIntyre’s Flourishing Human Being and Small-Scale Political Communities,” will examine if MacIntyre’s belief is a defensible view and will contrast his political philosophy with broader traditions while also offering answers to prominent criticisms raised against his political thought.  

Macias said the Center for Thomistic Studies has offered him a true education that has formed him as a total person regardless of what career he pursues.

“Often universities pursue and support academic programs that are profitable rather than those that will help students live strong and fulfilled lives,” Macias said. “The Center for Thomistic Studies seeks to counter this trend by showing the perennial importance of the philosophical and theological thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. If we wish to build a truly Catholic university that forms students to be leaders in the faith, we must support such programs though they do not gain acclaim in the wider secular culture.”

After graduation, Macias will continue teaching at UST as an adjunct professor in the fall.  

The Center for Thomistic Studies is the only graduate philosophy program uniquely focused on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in the U.S. It is also home to the national office of the American Catholic Philosophical Association and sponsors the annual Aquinas Lecture, which features many of the Catholic scholars in philosophy and theology.

By Deema Al-Rasheed