Alasdair MacIntyre: Critic of Modernity by Peter McMylor

By Peter McMylor

This publication is the 1st complete size account of the importance of Alasdair MacIntyre's paintings for the social sciences. MacIntyre's ethical philosophy is proven to supply the assets for a robust critique of liberalism. His tradition is noticeable because the idea for a serious social technology of modernity.

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We start to look for the good in the social and moral particularity that we inherit from the past, family, town, profession, nation, class, etc. This means that pursuit of the good is always in part a communal enterprise, developing further, or even rebelling against what we inherit. Though clearly MacIntyre believes that a total rebellion, or repudiation of the past, is impossible and in so far as we think it is we suffer from painful liberal individualist delusions. Ultimately, then, MacIntyre’s teleological framework is a perspective on human life, and human community as story.

It is this latter condition that MacIntyre sees as characteristic of contemporary liberal societies and that this indifference is a most significant fact about them, the implications of which go far beyond the question of religious belief itself. We will explore this issue below, but before doing so we must examine the other options available to those facing the crisis of theism. The second response is the path of rejecting any attempt to adapt theism to modern modes of apparently scientific assessment.

79 MacIntyre’s entire argument in this work is based on an analysis of the role of the virtues in a whole range of non-modern societies: Homeric Greece, classical Greece, the so called heroic societies of northern Europe and the medieval world. Crucially, some of these societies are descended from one another and the values they inherit from diverse sources are frequently in considerable conflict with one another. So Stauth and Turner’s statement that…‘medieval Europe was not made up of a set of coherent nation-states each with its own unified morality and religion.

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