MacIntyre's project, here as elsewhere, is to put up a fight against philosophical relativism. . . . The current form is the 'incommensurability,' so-called, of differing standpoints or conceptual schemes. Mr. MacIntyre claims that different schools of philosophy must differ fundamentally about what counts as a rational way to settle intellectual differences. Reading between the lines, one can see that he has in mind nationalities as well as thinkers, and literary criticism as well as academic philosophy. More explicitly, he labels and discusses three significantly different standpoints: the encyclopedic, the genealogical and the traditional. . . . [T]he chapters on the development of Christian philosophy between Augustine and Duns Scotus are very interesting indeed. . . . [MacIntyre] must be the past, present, future, and all-time philosophical historians' historian of philosophy. -The New York Times Book Review
"Tradition in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre presents an intellectual history history and defense of this towering figure in contemporary American philosophy. Drawing on interviews and published works, Christopher Stephen Lutz traces MacIntyre's philosophical development and refutes the criticisms of the major thinkers - including Martha Nussbaum and Thomas Nagel - who have most vocally attacked him. Lutz convincingly demonstrates how MacIntyre's neo-Aristotelian ethical thought provides an essential corrective to the contemporary discussions of relativism and ideology, while successfully drawing on the objectivity of Thomistic natural law."--(4ème de couverture).
MacIntyre is greatly discontented with the nature of contemporary morality, which according to him has a form, i.e. what appears like morality, but lacks essential content. He argues that the most common feature of contemporary ethical discourse is that much of it is used to express individual preferences, which leads to disagreements among philosophers, and eventually results in debates that are interminable in character. MacIntyre attributes the cause of this situation to the activities of the enlightenment philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries who, in an attempt to find rational justification for morality repudiated those essential elements that define the essence of morality and give it its contents. Such elements include historical narrative, tradition, teleology, and divine law. In MacIntyres opinion, morality so constructed was destined for failure, since it was not founded on the true nature of the human person. The obvious consequences of this failure were the birth of diverse post-enlightenment ethical theories and a substantial change in the conception of virtue. In order to remedy this deplorable condition of contemporary ethics MacIntyre, along with other virtue ethicists, advocates a certain renaissance of ethical principles that are founded on the true nature of the human person, characterized by historical narrative, tradition, and teleology, all grounded on divine legislation. Morality thus reconstructed finds its fullest expression in the theory of human character traits, i.e. virtues. This is what has motivated MacIntyres construction of virtue theory, which has brought him into confrontation with the enlightenment philosophers. Our study and analysis of MacIntyres theory of virtue reveals that his account of virtue is inadequate. This inadequacy is what has motivated our own project of reconstructing MacIntyres theory of virtue in view of offering an account of virtue that is adequate. In this way our own project complements that of MacIntyre.
Highly controversial when it was first published in 1981, Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue has since established itself as a landmark work in contemporary moral philosophy. In this book, MacIntyre sought to address a crisis in moral language that he traced back to a European Enlightenment that had made the formulation of moral principles increasingly difficult. In the search for a way out of this impasse, MacIntyre returns to an earlier strand of ethical thinking, that of Aristotle, who emphasised the importance of 'virtue' to the ethical life. More than thirty years after its original publication, After Virtue remains a work that is impossible to ignore for anyone interested in our understanding of ethics and morality today.
In this work, Brian Philip Dunn focuses on the South Indian theologian A. J. Appaswamy's 'embodiment theology.' This is the first book on Appaswamy, a not insignificant Indian, Christian theologian. This study argues for the distinctive theological voice of Appaswamy who develops a theology strongly influenced by the medieval Hindu theologian (or 'bhakti philosopher') Rāmānuja, in particular offering a reading of the Gospel of John. Dunn shows how Appaswamy sees the Christian God in Rāmānuja's theology and how his theology, particularly about the presence of God in the icon in a temple, can become a heuristic device through which to understand the fourth Gospel in the context of its own time. This allows the reader to develop a rooted Christology that otherwise would remain hidden. Through Rāmānuja, Appaswamy can contribute to a constructive and important Theology that grounds the text and ideas of the incarnation in the Jewish context, particularly about priestly atonement. This reading of Rāmānuja allows us to see a Christology in the Christian text that would otherwise not have been seen.
Despite Alasdair MacIntyre being known as an academic who has made many notable contributions to a range of areas in philosophy, his thinking on education is not as well-known and/or properly understood by most audiences and readerships that predominantly reside in educational contexts. With this in mind, this book aims to provide a critique of MacIntyre’s thinking about education, and hence commences with a central theme found in MacIntyre’s extensive corpus concerning the fragmentation and disunification of ideas found in our culture and society that stems both from the rejection of metaphysics and what it means to be a human being living within the context of history. According to MacIntyre, part of the problem why this has occurred is due to educational institutions, particularly universities failing to resist the pressure exerted from industry and the state to conform. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a type of intellectual dissensus where the shared conceptions of rational enquiry and the role of reason have been replaced by pluralistic notions of private and personal choices concerning the good, and a disillusionment with reason that is ultimately exhibited as apathy and conformism. In order to overcome this apathy and conformism found in our culture and society, MacIntyre’s educational project is concerned with the cultivation of rationality; however, this is not an easy undertaking because it involves students being confronted with alternative – sometimes rather hostile – rival traditions so they both come to see rival points of view and understand that each tradition, including their own, does not come from a neutral or value-neutral standpoint. To MacIntyre, dialectical encounters between traditions is a crucial starting point of a good education, but for intellectual and academic progress to be made, rational enquiry needs to be grounded in a shared understanding of first principles that aims at truth and rational vindication. It is this shift in thinking that is of interest in the latter part of this book, particularly MacIntyre’s views around tradition-orientated communities of practice. Here, MacIntyre is concerned with the praxis of his educational project and the crucial role tradition-orientated communities play in the cultivation of independent reasoners who are capable of seeing the interconnectedness between different forms of knowledge that can lead us to an informed discovery of both the truth, and of the good, but most importantly exhibit virtuous dispositions which are vital to good practical reasoning.
A Short History of Ethics is a significant contribution written by one of the most important living philosophers. For the second edition Alasdair MacIntyre has included a new preface in which he examines his book “thirty years on” and considers its impact. It remains an important work, ideal for all students interested in ethics and morality.
Contending that Marxism achieved its unique position in part by adopting the content and functions of Christianity, MacIntyre details the religious attitudes and modes of belief that appear in Marxist doctrine as it developed historically from the philosophies of Hegel and Feuerbach, and as it has been carried on by latter-day interpreters from Rosa Luxemburg and Trotsky to Kautsky and Lukacs. The result is a lucid exposition of Marxism and an incisive account of its persistence and continuing importance.
Human genetic engineering may soon be possible. The gathering debate about this prospect already threatens to become mired in irresolvable disagreement. After surveying the scientific and technological developments that have brought us to this pass, The Ethics of Genetic Engineering focuses on the ethical and policy debate, noting the deep divide that separates proponents and opponents. The book locates the source of this divide in differing framing assumptions: reductionist pluralist on one side, holist communitarian on the other. The book argues that we must bridge this divide, drawing on the resources from both encampments, if we are to understand and cope with the distinctive problems posed by genetic engineering. These problems, termed "fractious problems," are novel, complex, ethically fraught, unavoidably of public concern, and unavoidably divisive. Berry examines three prominent ethical and political theories – utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics – to consider their competency in bridging the divide and addressing these fractious problems. The book concludes that virtue ethics can best guide parental decision making and that a new policymaking approach sketched here, a "navigational approach," can best guide policymaking. These approaches enable us to gain a rich understanding of the problems posed and to craft resolutions adequate to their challenges.
For over forty years Stanley Hauerwas has been writing theology that matters. In this new collection of essays, lectures, and sermons, Hauerwas continues his life's work of exploring the theological web, discovering and recovering the connections necessary for the church to bear faithful witness to Christ in our complex and changing times. Hauerwas enters into conversation with a diverse array of interlocutors as he brings new insights to bear on matters theological, delves into university matters, demonstrates how lives matter, and continues in his passionate commitment to the matter of preaching. Essays by Robert Dean illumine the connections that have made Hauerwas's theological web-slinging so significant and demonstrate why Hauerwas's sermons have a crucial role to play in the recovery of a gospel-shaped homiletical imagination.
This book is most easily described as philosophy of history; however, this descr- tion may be a little misleading. Truly, this is a work of applied philosophy that was originally conceived not in a philosophy seminar but in a school of public policy. As a philosopher learning about the study of public policy formation, I was f- quently struck by what I perceived to be two very different sets of assumptions and methods at work. I found these assumptions and methods to be mutually exclusive conceptually, but they were often employed simultaneously. On the one hand, it was often accepted as given when studying past policy changes and political events that history is shaped by impersonal forces, that p- ple’s actions can, and ought only to be understood as manifestations of their own material interests, and that individuals are to be identi?ed as representatives of their respective demographic categories. Thus, for example, the events in question were explained in terms of the race or class of the various parties. When such an approach was challenged with an appeal to the actual arguments and stated rationales of the participants of the historical moment in question, this was taken to be an option that might be employed either in conjunction with the former method or as an alter- tive. Which method one chose to emphasize or employ exclusively seemed more a function of inclination or intuition than rational adjudication.
Stumbling Toward Justice is a collection of stories of one man's odyssey through the darkness of the modern world. His journey takes him through the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Spain, Germany, and India. In each place he stumbles for ground on which he can stand, on which he can seek an honorable life and practice. He questions contemporary belief in the goods offered by mainstream or conventional practices of child rearing, education, health care, industrial farming, and offers a critique of economic growth and technological advances. Each chapter relates a story in one of these areas from Hoinacki's experience, an experience that inspires him to critical reflection. Hoinacki's underlying assumption is that a narrative relating one's personal experience may introduce the reader to a wider and more incisive understanding than that provided by the investigative and reporting methods of the social and natural sciences.
This volume examines the theological doctrine of al-M tur d (d.944 CE) by describing its principal characteristics and situating it within the history of Sunn "kal m."
This book offers a broad-ranging account of contemporary American culture, the complex network of symbols, practices, and beliefs at the heart of our society. Lundin explores the historical background of some of our "postmodern" culture's central beliefs and considers their crucial ethical and theological implications.
Like medieval maps with their intricate illustrations, unusual proportions, and omission of seemingly crucial details, medieval works of theology were designed to provide not an objective “lay of the land” for disinterested study but an itinerary for individuals “traveling” a specific route. To read was to be taken by the hand and to join fellow travelers on a journey of participation — and ultimately union — with God. In Candler introduces us to fertile medieval texts such as the Confessions of Augustine, the Glossa Ordinaria on the Bible, and the Summa Theologiae of Aquinas. At the same time he argues that modern thought has displaced their “grammar of participation” with a dualistic “grammar of representation” that determines our most taken-for-granted attitudes toward memory and learning. Offering a striking contrast to such attitudes, Candlerâ€™s opens the way to a more holistic account of reading, knowledge, and theology.
Moral thinking today finds itself stranded between the particular and the universal. Alasdair MacIntyre's work on narrative, discussed here along with that of Stanley Hauerwas and H. T. Engelhardt, aims to undo the perceived damage done by the Enlightenment by returning to narrative and abandoning the illusion of a disembodied reason that claims to be able to give a coherent explanation for everything. It is precisely this - a theory that holds good for all cases - that John Rawls proposed, drawing on the heritage of Emmanuel Kant. Who is right? Must universality be abandoned? Must we only think about morality in terms that are relative, bound by space and time? Alexander Lucie-Smith attempts to answer these questions by examining the nature of narrative itself as well as the particular narratives of Rawls and St Augustine. Bound and rooted as they are in history and personal experience, narratives nevertheless strain at the limits imposed on them. It is Lucie-Smith's contention that each narrative that points to a lived morality exists against the background of an infinite horizon, and thus it is that the particular and the rooted can also make us aware of the universal and unchanging.
First published in 1998, this influential volume undertakes a task of exposition and interpretation in explaining the views of this important yet elusive ethical philosopher and why he thought modern moral and political philosophy so muddled. Fuller places MacIntyre in his philosophical context, draws out his attitudes towards ethical issues and attempts to uncover and explain his influences. In four parts, Fuller explores the board outline of MacIntyre’s position, casuistry and the nature of tethics, MacIntyre’s arguments on truth and reason and lastly his notions of narrative unity, ethical justification, tradition along with views on fact, theory and value.
Three convictions underlie this book. The first is that an educated Catholic laity needs to understand a good deal more about Catholic philosophical thought than it does now. The warring partisans on the great issues that engage our culture and politics presuppose the truth of some philosophical theses and the falsity of others. Second, argues MacIntyre, Catholic philosophy is best understood historically, as a continuing conversation through the centuries, in which we turn and return to the most important voices from our past. Third, philosophy is not just a matter of propositions affirmed or denied but of philosophers in particular cultural and social situations interacting with each other in their affirmations and denials, in their argumentative wrangling. This is the context for a book of vital importance and interest for anyone involved with education in a religious context. But from someone with MacIntyre's authority and reputation, the reader can expect something extremely perceptive about the role of religion in modern culture and society as a whole. The reader will not be disappointed.