we shall see “face to face,” it remains for most of us the bestnimage we have.nNatural theology, as exemplified in Bishop Butler’snmasterful Analogy, attempted to derive the moral law fromnthe observable habits of mankind. The fact that, even in thenabsence of law and order, murderers were killed by thenvictim’s relatives suggests that the universe was full of moralnlessons. In this world, of course, nothing is perfect, butnwhat is a statistical probability in the here and now isnassumed to be an absolute in the divine will. In this sense,n”Thou shalt do no murder” is not only a prescription; it alsoncontains elements of description. It is as much a statementnof fact as Aeschylus’ declaration that “The slayers are slain.”nFor some time now it has been the fashion to dismiss thisnentire line of reasoning. Moral principles have become anmatter of individual “values” which can be judged only—ifnat all—by referring to something like the principle of utilitynor the bloodless abstraction of human rights. Natural law isnreplaced by natural rights even before the time of Locken—but that is another, equally dismal story. And all thatneventually remained of natural law theory was the simplisticnrationality taught by catechists and certain modern conservatives.nRight reason, in this view, becomes a sort of pogonstick for jumping across the chasm between nature andnnature’s God.nWho deserves the credit for discovering the gulf betweennfact and value—as unbridgeable as the gulf betweennheaven and hell—remains uncertain. It is often ascribed,nquite erroneously I think, to David Hume. Hume’s famousnobservation on the curious habits of moralists, who inevitablynleaped from statements of “is” to statements of “ought”nChronicles Best Books of 1986:nIn 1986 we reviewed a staggering amount of books—not allnof them published this year. A few of them are worthnmentioning again as last-minute Christmas gifts for literatenfriends.nFictionnThe War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosan(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)nAn Evening Performance by George Garrett (Doubleday)nThe Old Forest and Other Stories by Peter Taylor (Doubleday)nSon of the Morning Star by Evan S. Council (Harper &nRow)nScandal, or Priscilla’s Kindness by A. N. Wilson (Viking)nNonHctionnGreek Religion by Walter Burkert (Harvard University Press)nOne Earth, Four or Five Worlds by Octavio Paz (HarcourtnBrace Jovanovieh)nIslands of History by Marshall Sahlins (University of ChicagonPress)nFrom Athens to ]erusalem by Stephen R.L. Clark (OxfordnUniversity Press)nOutgrowing Democracy by John Lukacs (Doubleday)nReligion in American Public Life by A. James Reichleyndid not establish a gap between fact and value at all. On thencontrary, his main intent was to criticize rationalist accountsnof morality. As Alasdair Maelntyre suggested somenyears ago in a controversial article, Hume consistentlynignored the so-called gap between moral and unmoral and,nin basing ethics on happiness, could be described as the lastnAristotelian. It was, after all, David Hume who declarednthat “if ever there was anything, which could be callednnatural . . . the sentiments of morality certainly may.”nAnother favorite candidate for broadening (if not initiating)nthe rupture was G.E. Moore. At the turn of thencentury, Moore’s Principia Ethica created a sensation bynapparently dissociating goodness from nature and reducingnit to a matter of irrational “intuitions” and social utility.nLytton Strachey and John Maynard Keynes spread thenword, throughout what was to become the BloomsburynCircle, that morality was largely a question of what wenshould now call life-styles. In America, Moore may survivenprincipally as one of the major targets of Alasdair Mac-nIntyre’s After Virtue, but Stephen Clark has argued (decisively,nI think) that Moore’s ethics, closer to a Platonistnmetaphysics than to contemporary relativism, were seriouslyndistorted by his disciples. Whether Hume or Moore ornBentham is to blame, what really counts is the curiousnbelief that the matter is somehow settled. It isn’t settled atnall—far from it, as E.O. Wilson has made clear both in hisnrecent Chronicles essay and in an article forthcoming in thenjournal Philosophy. In addition, Mary Midgeley and ProfnClark himself have more than once examined the naturalnbasis of ethics (see The Nature of the Beast, reviewed innChronicles, February 1985). (cont’d on next page)n(The Brookings Institution)nA Poison Stronger Than Love by Anastasia M. Shkilnykn(Yale University Press)nMen and Marriage by George Gilder (Pelican)nThe Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod (Basic)nWithout God, Without Creed by James Turner (JohnsnHopkins University Press)nSeas and Inland journeys by James Applewhite (Universitynof Georgia Press)nInventing Adolescence by Joseph Adelson (TransactionnBooks)nThe Humiliation of the Word by Jacques Ellul (Eerdmans)nAgainst All Hope by Armando Valladares (Alfred A. Knopf)nDeath of the Soul by William Barrett (Doubleday)nPoetrynThe Mystery of the Charity of Charles Peguy by GeoffreynHill (Oxford University Press)nThe Source by Fred Chappell (Louisiana State UniversitynPress)nThe Unlovely Child by Norman Williams (Alfred A. Knopf)nThe New World by Frederick Turner (Princeton UniversitynPress)nWinter Oysters by Brendan Galvin (University of GeorgianPress)nnnDECEMBER 1986 / 9n