UNIV Alasdair MacIntyre

Alasdair MacIntyre

Background (ENGLISH)

MacIntyre’s approach to moral philosophy has a number of complex strains which inform it. Although his project is largely characterized by an attempt to revive an Aristotelian conception of moral philosophy as sustained by the virtues, he nevertheless describes his own account of this attempt as a “peculiarly modern understanding” of the task.

This “peculiarly modern understanding” largely concerns MacIntyre’s approach to moral disputes. Unlike some analytic philosophers who try to generate moral consensus on the basis of an ideal of rationality, MacIntyre presents a historical narration of the development of ethics in order to illuminate the modern problem of “incommensurable” moral notions—i.e., moral arguments that proceed from incompatible premises. Following Hegel and Collingwood, he offers a “philosophical history” (which he distinguishes from both analytical and phenomenological approaches to philosophy) in which he concedes from the beginning that “there are no neutral standards available by appeal to which any rational agent whatsoever could determine” the conclusions of moral philosophy.

Indeed, one of MacIntyre’s major points in his most famous work, After Virtue, is that the failed attempt by various Enlightenment thinkers to furnish a final universal account of moral rationality led to the rejection of moral rationality altogether by subsequent thinkers such as Charles Stevenson, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Friedrich Nietzsche. On MacIntyre’s account, it is especially Nietzsche’s utter repudiation of the possibility of moral rationality that is the outcome of the Enlightenment’s mistaken quest for a final and definitive argument that will settle moral disputes into perpetuity by power of a calculative reason alone and without use of teleology

By contrast, MacIntyre is concerned with reclaiming various forms of moral rationality and argumentation that neither claim to utter finality and certainty (the mistaken project of the Enlightenment), but nevertheless do not simply bottom out into relativistic or emotivist denials of any moral rationality whatsoever (the mistaken conclusion of Nietzsche, Sartre and Stevenson). He does this by returning to the tradition of Aristotelian ethics with its teleological account of the good and moral persons which was originally rejected by the Enlightenment and which reached a fuller articulation in medieval writings of Thomas Aquinas. This Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition, he proposes, presents ‘the best theory so far’, both of how things are and how we ought to act.

More generally, according to MacIntyre it is the case that moral disputes always take place within and between rival traditions of thought that make recourse to a store of ideas, presuppositions, types of arguments and shared understandings and approaches that have been inherited from the past. Thus even though there is no definitive way for one tradition in moral philosophy to vanquish and exclude the possibility of another, nevertheless opposing views can call one another into question by various means including issues of internal coherence, imaginative reconstruction of dilemmas, epistemic crisis, and fruitfulness.

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Información (ESPAÑOL)

A diferencia de otros filósofos contemporáneos, que se centran en argumentos lógicos, analíticos o científicos, MacIntyre utiliza el sistema de la narración histórica, o de la filosofía narrativa. Un ejemplo claro es su libro After Virtue, o ‘Tras la virtud’, en el que explica el desarrollo de algunos conceptos éticos a lo largo de la historia. Entre los distintos tipos de investigación filosófica (tradiciones o escuelas) propone, sea en el ámbito del ser o en el del deber ser, el modelo que le parece más adecuado: el aristotélico. También lo utiliza en la introducción al pensamiento de la filósofa Edith Stein.

Ética de la virtud

MacIntyre es una figura clave en el reciente interés en la ética de la virtud, que pone como aspecto central de la ética los hábitos, las virtudes, y el conocimiento de cómo alcanza el individuo una vida buena, en la que encuentren plenitud todos los aspectos de la vida humana, en vez de centrarse en debates éticos específicos como el aborto. MacIntyre no omite hablar sobre esos temas particulares, sino que se acerca a ellos desde un contexto más amplio y menos legalista o normativista. Es éste un enfoque de la filosofía moral que demuestra cómo el juicio de un individuo nace del desarrollo del carácter.

MacIntyre subraya la importancia del bien moral definido en relación a una comunidad de personas involucradas en una práctica -concepto central de su obra After Virtue– que llama bienes internos o bienes de excelencia, en vez de centrarse en fenómenos independientes de una práctica, como la obligación de un agente moral (ética deontológica) o en las consecuencias de un acto moral particular (utilitarismo). La ética de la virtud suele estar asociada con autores pre-modernos (p. ej. PlatónAristótelesTomás de Aquino), aunque también se encuentra en otros sistemas éticos (p. ej. deontología kantiana). MacIntyre afirma que la síntesis de Tomás de Aquino del pensamiento de San Agustín con el de Aristóteles es más profundo que otras teorías modernas, al ocuparse del telos (finalidad) de una práctica social y de la vida humana, dentro del contexto en el cual la moralidad de los actos es evaluada.

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Extracto de 3 artículos en arvo.net:

http://arvo.net/filosofia-de-la-educacion/claves-para-educar-a-la-genera/gmx-niv148-con12364.htm

http://arvo.net/educacion-para-la-paz/dimension-etica-de-la-educacio/gmx-niv139-con10262.htm

http://arvo.net/ensayo-pensamiento/el-humanismo-civico-de-ale/gmx-niv432-con11169.htm

SUMMARY, IN ENGLISH:


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