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.
What individuals need is that without which they will be unable in adult life to engage in those activities and to discharge those responsibilities that are the mark of a fully participant member of their society. . Their needs are not only biological needs. Indeed, individuals whose needs so understood are met also need to enjoy at least some aspects of their lives and to find point and purpose in their activities. It matters therefore what attitudes, feelings, and desires are elicited in the course of their everyday routines, as they meet their needs, engage in activities, discharge responsibilities, and pursue enjoyments. (p.129)
KeywordsDesire, Practical Reason, Aristotle, Neo-Aristotelian, Marx, Aquinas, Politics, Ethics, Self-Knowledge Moral Philosophy
ThemesEthics in the Conflicts of Modernity
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