Single Idea 8045

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics]

Full Idea

A central thesis of this book is that the breakdown of the project (of 1630 to 1850) of an independent rational justification of morality provided the historical background against which the predicaments of our own culture can become intelligible.

Gist of Idea

The failure of Enlightenment attempts to justify morality will explain our own culture


Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory [1981], Ch. 4)

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory' [Duckworth 1982], p.38

A Reaction

Possibly the most important question of our times is whether the Enlightenment failed. MacIntyre's claim is followed by an appeal for a return to Aristotelian/Thomist virtues. Continentals seem to have responded by sliding into relativism.