Single Idea 8048

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature]

Full Idea

It is only when man is thought of as an individual prior to and apart from all roles that 'man' ceases to be a functional concept.

Gist of Idea

When 'man' is thought of individually, apart from all roles, it ceases to be a functional concept


Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory [1981], Ch. 5)

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory' [Duckworth 1982], p.56

A Reaction

This is the one key idea at the heart of the revival of virtue ethics in modern times. It pinpoints what may be the single biggest disaster in intellectual history - the isolation of the individual. Yet it led to freedom, rights, and lots of good things.