Single Idea 8062

[catalogued under 2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason]

Full Idea

Arguments in philosophy rarely take the form of proofs; and the most successful arguments on topics central to philosophy never do. (The ideal of proof is a relatively barren one in philosophy).

Gist of Idea

Proof is a barren idea in philosophy, and the best philosophy never involves proof


Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory [1981], Ch.18)

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory' [Duckworth 1982], p.241

A Reaction

He seems proud of this, but he must settle for something which is less than proof, which has to be vindicated to the mathematicians and scientists. I agree, though. Plato is the model, and the best philosophy builds a broad persuasive picture.