Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

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Duckworth Gerald, 1988 - Philosophy - 410 pages
Is there any cause or war worth risking one's life for? How can we determine which actions are vices and which virtues? MacIntyre, professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University, unravels these and other such questions by linking the concept of justice to what he calls practical rationality. He rejects the grab-what-you-can, utilitarian yardstick adopted by moral relativists. Instead, he argues that four wholly different, incompatible ideas of justice put forth by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas and Hume have helped shape our modern individualistic world. In his unorthodox view, each person seeks the good through an ongoing dialogue with one of these traditions or within Jewish, non-Western or other historical traditions. This weighty sequel to After Virtue (1981) is certain to stir debate.

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User Review  - jerrikobly - LibraryThing

Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, the sequel to After Virtue, is a persuasive argument of there not being rationality that is not the rationality of some tradition. MacIntyre examines the problems ... Read full review

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User Review  - vegetarian - LibraryThing

A history of Western ideas about rationality and justice. So, "WHOSE ideas about justice are we contemplating (and forcibly pushing out for others to them to deal with, or else!)?" Read full review

Contents

Rival Justices Competing Rationalities
1
Justice and Action in the Homeric Imagination
12
The Division of the PostHomeric Inheritance
30
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Although he is most widely known for his book "After Virtue" (1981), with its critique of reason and ethics, Alasdair MacIntyre writes in other areas of philosophy as well, including philosophical psychology, political theory, and philosophy of religion. Born in Scotland, he was educated at Manchester, London, and Oxford universities. In 1969, he went to the United States where he has taught at Brandeis, Boston, and Vanderbilt universities. Since 1988, when he also delivered the Gifford lectures, MacIntyre has taught at the University of Notre Dame. "After Virtue" is one of the most widely discussed of all recent books on moral philosophy. It is the culmination of MacIntyre's deep engagement with the history of ethics. In it he argues that modern ethical theory, as it has developed since the seventeenth century, has been exposed by Friedrich Nietzsche as conceptually bankrupt. To find an alternative, he looks to ancient Greece and especially to Aristotle's concept of virtue. Although his critics consider this alternative to be something of an impossible dream, MacIntyre argues that it is central to a recovery of ethics.

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