Advertisement

Res Publica

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 251–273 | Cite as

MacIntyre on Tradition, Rationality, and Relativism

Article

Abstract

MacIntyre’s critique of liberalism relies crucially on a distinctive moral particularism, for which morality and rationality are fundamentally tradition-constituted. In light of this, some have detected in his work a moral relativism, radically in tension with his endorsement of a Thomist universalism. I dispute this reading, arguing instead that MacIntyre is a consistent universalist who pays due attention to the moral-epistemic importance of traditions. Analysing his teleological understanding of rational enquiry, I argue that this approach shows how it is possible, dialectically, to reconcile the particularity of our starting-points with the assertion of universal truths. What MacIntyre offers, I contend, is a moral universalism that avoids the pitfalls of its liberal counterpart, and invites an important meta-theoretical shift with respect to the scope for toleration and social critique and toleration in contemporary pluralist society.

Keywords

Rational Enquiry Social Critique Pluralist Society Moral Relativism Universal Truth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCatholic University in RuzomberokRuzomberokSlovakia

Personalised recommendations