Virtues versus the 'enlightenment project' : a critical appraisal of Alasdair Macintyre's raclaiming of the Aristotelian tradition in moral theory

Hoch, Jonathan (Jonathan Leith) (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-12)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis seeks to evaluate MacIntyre's claim that recourse to the tradition of virtue ethics in the Aristotelian-Thomist sense is the only viable intellectual option, given the alleged demise of the so-called"Enlightenment Project". It raises a twofold question: First, is it coherent to argue that MacIntyre's reappropriation of an ancient moral tradition is possible? Does such a claim duly reckon with the conditions under which meaningful forms are understood? The first claim being defended is that MacIntyre does not sufficiently respect Gadamer's conditions under which understanding occurs. It is also argued that MacIntyre does not provide coherent conditions for rationally choosing between traditions in order to possibly vindicate them. As such, MacIntyre's re-appropriating of the Aristotelian tradition in moral theory is not coherent and convincing. Secondly, does the dichotomy of "Nietzsche versus Aristotle" represent the only viable alternatives for us in our efforts to continue the enterprise of moral theorising? The second claim being defended is that the dichotomy is not a coherent way of moral theorising. The third claim being defended is that Gadamer represents a viable alternative to the ultimatum in that his thought provides the possibility of a more coherent way of moral theorising than MacIntyre's.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis stel ten doel die evaluasie van MacIntyre se standpunt dat die deugde-etiek van die Aristoteliaanse-Thomistiestradisie die enigste blywende opsie is, aangesiendie sogenaamde"Verligtingsprojek" misluk het. Die tesis stel twee kernvrae aan die orde: Eerstens, is dit sinvol om te argumenteer dat MacIntyre se appropriasie van bogenoemde etiese tradisie moontlik is? Verleen so n aanspraak genoegsame waarde aan die kondisies waaronder sindraers verstaan word? Die eerste standpunt wat verdedig word, is dat MacIntyre nie genoeg ag slaan op Gadamer se opvatting oor die kondisies vir verstaan nie. Daar word verder ook geargumenteer dat MacIntyre nie koherente kondisies aandui vir 'n keuse tussen tradisies nie en as sodanig ondermyn dit die koherensie van sy werk. MacIntyre se appropriasie van die Aristoteliaanse tradisie in morele teorie is dus nie koherent of oortuigend nie. Tweedens, is die dichotomie van "Nietzsche of Aristoteles" die enigste moontlike alternatief vir die voortgaande studie van morele teorie? Die tweede aanspraak wat verdedig word, is dat die dichotomie nie 'n koherente wyse van morele argumentasie is nie. Die derde aanspraak wat verdedig word is dat Gadamer 'n werkbare alternatief verskaf vir die dichotomie. Sy denke voorsien 'n meer koherente wyse om met morele teorie om te gaan as die een wat MacIntyre verskaf.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52607
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