Moral Philosophy, Moral Identity and Moral Cacophony: On MacIntyre on the Modern Self

Morgan, Seiriol
June 2008
Analyse & Kritik;jun2008, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p157
Academic Journal
This paper focuses on Alasdair MacIntyre's critique of the modern self, arguing that we are not as bereft of the resources to engage in rational thought about value as he makes out. I claim that MacIntyre's argument presumes that philosophy has a much greater power to shape individuals and cultures than it in fact has. In particular, he greatly exaggerates the extent to which the character of the modern self has been an effect of the philosophical views of the self that have been influential during the period, leading him to be overly pessimistic about its nature and powers. Finally, I argue that MacIntyre has provided us with no strong reason for thinking that a moral tradition structured by modern values could not be viable.


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