Foreword by Alasdair MacIntyre
Back to the Rough Ground is a philosophical investigation of practical knowledge, with major import for professional practice and the ethical life in modern society. Its purpose is to clarify the kind of knowledge that informs good practice in a range of disciplines such as education, psychotherapy, medicine, management, and law. Through reflection on key modern thinkers who have revived cardinal insights of Aristotle, and a sustained engagement with the Philosopher himself, it presents a radical challenge to the scientific assumptions that have dominated how these professional domains have been conceived, practiced, and institutionalized.
“[Dunne] makes clear both the contemporary relevance of the Aristotelian conception of practical judgment and the way in which, implicitly and explicitly, it has already played a part in the twentieth-century debates in a way that no one else has done. His detailed exposition of Aristotle is not only admirable … but exceptionally well-designed.” —Alasdair MacIntyre
“…a first-rate piece of work…wide ranging in its scope, yet finely attentive to detail. It covers…a large number of contemporary thinkers, and yet shows scholarly and philosophical finesse in reading Aristotle and recovering the contemporary significance of his views of techne and phronesis.” —
_The Review of Metaphysics _
“…should be compulsory reading for all those who profess a serious interest in the conceptual complexities of . . . professional knowledge. . . . [Dunne’s] arguments are consistently intelligent, clear and persuasive… the overall quality of his writing is simply outstanding.” — _Journal of Philosophy of Education _
“…an impresively masterful and engaging volume which will more than repay careful reading and rereading. . . . Back to the Rough Ground constitutes a sophisticated but supple and finely nuanced hermeneutical re-appropriation of Aristotle’s practical philosophy, a model of how phronesis (practical wisdom) might be exhibited in our own day.” — Modern Theology
“… a very powerful, scholarly and philosophically acute attempt to rehabilitate an understanding of practical reason…. Dunne’s absorbing and illuminating book is a necessary acquisition for anyone who is interested in practical philosophy.” — International Journal of Philosophical Studies