Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

On Alasdair MacIntyre's Idea of Virtue"

"The central hypothesis of Alasdair MacIntyre's book "After Virtue" (Duckworth, 1981, 114-238) is that modern society (including most of academia) lacks any coherent and workable system of virtues or morality. In our society today, "[t]here seems to be no rational way of securing moral agreement." This is the case, argues MacIntyre, because differing and opposed moral arguments are grounded in irreconcilable premises. After detailing the history of Western systems of morality, MacIntyre discusses the Enlightenment's abandonment of Aristotelianism and the various attempts -- all failures, in his opinion -- to outline a feasible system of virtues."


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