Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative
by MacIntyre, Alasdair (2016)
Alasdair MacIntyre explores some central philosophical, political and moral claims of modernity and argues that a proper understanding of human goods requires a rejection of these claims. In a wide-ranging discussion, he considers how normative and evaluative judgments are to be understood, how desire and practical reasoning are to be characterized, what it is to have adequate self-knowledge, and what part narrative plays in our understanding of human lives. He asks, further, what it would be to understand the modern condition from a neo-Aristotelian or Thomistic perspective, and argues that Thomistic Aristotelianism, informed by Marx's insights, provides us with resources for constructing a contemporary politics and ethics which both enable and require us to act against modernity from within modernity. This rich and important book builds on and advances MacIntyre's thinking in ethics and moral philosophy, and will be of great interest to readers in both fields.
Earlier I argued that the initial task of theoretical enquiry is to articulate and develop further what is implicit in or presupposed by practice. And it needs to be stressed once again that agents engaged in such theoretical reflection continue to need to learn from each other, albeit not primarily as fellow students of theory, but as fellow agents engaged in achieving common goods in the practical and productive activities of everyday life, so that their moral and political education needs to be very different from that of the academic theorist. (p.111)
KeywordsDesire, Practical Reason, Aristotle, Neo-Aristotelian, Marx, Aquinas, Politics, Ethics, Self-Knowledge Moral Philosophy
ThemesEthics in the Conflicts of Modernity
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