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.
Consider two different types of occasion which give us good reason to reflect upon our desires. Occasions of the first type are part of the fabric of everyone’s life, occasions when we cannot avoid making choices that will dictate the shape of our future lives, as when students decide for what kind of work to prepare themselves, or someone in midcareer faces alternative career paths, or someone decides to get married or not to get married, or someone decides to commit themselves to a life of religious contemplation or a life of revolutionary politics. (p.4)
KeywordsDesire, Practical Reason, Aristotle, Neo-Aristotelian, Marx, Aquinas, Politics, Ethics, Self-Knowledge Moral Philosophy
ThemesEthics in the Conflicts of Modernity
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