Abstract Maclntyre’s contrast between contemporary individualist versions of morality, expressive of arbitrary selfwill, and some less willful or less arbitrary moral guidance, is queried. All social practices, both those Maclntyre disapproves of and those he prefers, are claimed to contain elements of arbitrariness, and some scope for the expression of some individual human wills. Maclntyre’s neglect of the question of what allocation of power a particular practice or set of practices involves is contrasted with Hume’s due but not undue attention to this matter. Maclntyre’s treatment of Hume’s place in the history of the Aristotelian conception of the moral life as cultivation of virtues is criticized and tentatively explained as really due not to Hume’s anti-rationalism, but to his acceptance of the political and commercial practices which Maclntyre distrusts, and to his rejection of the non-Aristotelian religious concepts of other-worldly goods, sin and redemption from it, which Maclntyre wants added on to Aristotle’s moral theory.
Analyse & Kritik – de Gruyter
Published: May 1, 1984