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Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, the sequel to After Virtue, is a persuasive argument of there not being rationality that is not the rationality of some tradition. MacIntyre examines the problems presented by the existence of rival traditions of inquiry in the cases of four major philosophers: Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Hume.


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Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, the sequel to After Virtue, is a persuasive argument of there not being rationality that is not the rationality of some tradition. MacIntyre examines the problems presented by the existence of rival traditions of inquiry in the cases of four major philosophers: Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Hume.

30 review for Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pinkyivan

    A very hard text, compared to his other works, but also that much more refined and focused. It gives an account of traditions of thought, their development, context, teaching as to describe their concepts of justice and rationality. The traditions discussed are platonic-aristotelian-augustinian-thomist which MacIntyre himself represents, Scottish calvinist-augustinians, humean and finally liberal tradition. The dialectic, which takes around 70% of the whole book, leads to certain interesting and A very hard text, compared to his other works, but also that much more refined and focused. It gives an account of traditions of thought, their development, context, teaching as to describe their concepts of justice and rationality. The traditions discussed are platonic-aristotelian-augustinian-thomist which MacIntyre himself represents, Scottish calvinist-augustinians, humean and finally liberal tradition. The dialectic, which takes around 70% of the whole book, leads to certain interesting and hard to dispute conclusions, that rationality and justice, as far as human perception of them goes, are not two concepts, but a myriad which depends on the tradition it a part of. So justice will for the aristotelian be when something is done with virtue with the final teleological goal in view, which of course will be denied by the liberal, for whom there is no such thing as a one good, outside giving freedom to everyone to achieve his own freedom (as put by both Hayek and MacIntyre). Overall this may as well be the most captivating book on philosophy I've ever read, to the point where I talked about him for 20 minutes to my date. Highly recommended for everyone who has an interest in the essential text of critique of modernity.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vagabond of Letters, DLitt

    9.9/10 Further review forthcoming.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David

    MacIntyre's After Virtue is one of my favorite books of all time, so I was excited to begin this book which is a follow-up to that one. It is a follow-up, but I found it much tougher to get through. After Virtue was a book that any person interested in philosophy and ethics, whether a pastor or just a person who reads that type of book for fun, could work through and appreciate. I found this book more difficult because of the subject matter. Here MacIntyre takes us on a history of ethics, ultima MacIntyre's After Virtue is one of my favorite books of all time, so I was excited to begin this book which is a follow-up to that one. It is a follow-up, but I found it much tougher to get through. After Virtue was a book that any person interested in philosophy and ethics, whether a pastor or just a person who reads that type of book for fun, could work through and appreciate. I found this book more difficult because of the subject matter. Here MacIntyre takes us on a history of ethics, ultimately laying out four philosophical traditions: Aristotle, Aquinas, Hume and modern liberalism. I just wasn't super interested in the details of things like ancient Greek philosophy leading up to Aristotle. So if the history of philosophy is your thing, then this book is for you. For me, the best chapters were when MacIntyre got to modern liberalism and began discussing the challenges of different philosophical traditions interacting. The problem, which is a large point in After Virtue, is that each tradition speaks its own language and defines itself on its own terms and thus appears rational on the inside. But there is no common ground to speak between traditions, which is why people seem to talk past each other. Further, since the modern liberal mindset appears to us the default, our culture sees the other traditions as irrational or old fashioned. Once we realize modern liberalism is a tradition among others, the problem shifts. Now those other traditions are not just outmoded systems, but powerful stories alongside what actually is another tradition rather than the default, "just way things are". Overall, I'd say read After Virtue first and if you're interested in the subject, tackle this one too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Garber

    Macintyre continues the amazing intellectual work he began in After Virtue by examining four paradigms of practical reasoning, their history, and most importantly, their incompatibility. Macintyre looks at the Homeric and Aristotelian tradition; the Biblical and Thomist; Hume’s theory of passion; and the modern privileging of individual market choice. He observes that each views the individual who is wanting to make a moral decision in a different social capacity that determines how they will ma Macintyre continues the amazing intellectual work he began in After Virtue by examining four paradigms of practical reasoning, their history, and most importantly, their incompatibility. Macintyre looks at the Homeric and Aristotelian tradition; the Biblical and Thomist; Hume’s theory of passion; and the modern privileging of individual market choice. He observes that each views the individual who is wanting to make a moral decision in a different social capacity that determines how they will make that moral choice. The Aristotelian considers the individual qua a voting (i.e. male landowning) citizen in a specific polis; that is, moral theory does not consider women, slaves, or persons outside the city. The Thomist tradition of course considers the individual in light of God’s commandments; now moral responsibility is extended equally to every person on Earth under one moral law. Hume, who argued that only passions ruled moral decisions and the only goal of moral decision was to protect the satisfying of those passions without bloodshed, considers the individual qua noble landowning citizen. As Macintyre observes, this means that what was formerly considered the vice of greed (pleonexia) has now been transformed into a capitalist virtue. And this individualist capitalism led to modernity, in which each individual makes a choice qua individual, and passions no longer need to be regarded but are a de facto right of the individual in the marketplace. Macintyre’s depth of reading (particularly in obscure texts that support his argument) is staggering and his writing clear and occasionally humorous. I was most struck by his observation that extending the moral law in the Thomist tradition protects the poor and oppressed in a way that neither Aristotle nor Hume support – Aquinas says that if you have to steal bread to feed your family, that is moral! Likewise, Macintyre does a provocative job of illustrating how Hume’s theory of passions (with which I have been mostly sympathetic) is based on the notion that the best people are rich, classy, landowning Englishmen (Hume explicitly rejected his Scottish heritage because it wasn’t classy enough). Poor people have nothing to be proud of from a Humean view. And Macintyre finally characterizes modernism accurately as pretending to be objective when in fact it is just another socially constructed tradition like Aristotle or Aquinas, one which allows the principles of the marketplace to make moral decisions for the individual – even if the individual thinks they are making decisions themselves. Macintyre’s observations about what it takes to make a good ruler and a good society are painfully necessary in the vicious political cycle in which we find ourselves in postmodern global capitalism. Those of us who subscribe to a tradition that does value the poor and oppressed would do well to read this history. Recommended for philosophers, theologians, and graduate students of philosophy and theology in particular.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Much better than After Virtue, but not as much fun.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Norwitz

    MacIntyre's history of ethical debate, and defense of Aristotelianism and Thomism. It's marred by vague meandering writing, by his sneering attitude towards contemporary liberalism (with no acknowledgement of the flaws of the systems that liberalism is a reaction to), and by his straw-man account of relativism. Nevertheless he has a good historical sense and may be worthwhile for anyone studying this particular historical train of ethical debate. MacIntyre's history of ethical debate, and defense of Aristotelianism and Thomism. It's marred by vague meandering writing, by his sneering attitude towards contemporary liberalism (with no acknowledgement of the flaws of the systems that liberalism is a reaction to), and by his straw-man account of relativism. Nevertheless he has a good historical sense and may be worthwhile for anyone studying this particular historical train of ethical debate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Drew

    Best book on the topic of justice according to Keller

  8. 4 out of 5

    Daniel B-G

    I'm pretty certain there are some important points in here, but I can't stomach the writing style. I'm pretty certain there are some important points in here, but I can't stomach the writing style.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Manuel

    In “After Virtue”, MacIntyre laid down the foundation for a new way of thinking about philosophical moral discourse (and philosophical discourse in general, I would say), namely, by looking at the traditions within which the issues are framed and solved, or at least are tried to be solved. For it is only within a tradition (its language, its methodologies, its standards of evaluation; in short, its rationality) that theories can be understood. However, this new foundationalist project was left i In “After Virtue”, MacIntyre laid down the foundation for a new way of thinking about philosophical moral discourse (and philosophical discourse in general, I would say), namely, by looking at the traditions within which the issues are framed and solved, or at least are tried to be solved. For it is only within a tradition (its language, its methodologies, its standards of evaluation; in short, its rationality) that theories can be understood. However, this new foundationalist project was left incomplete. MacIntyre faced the objection that his “traditionalism” left the door open for relativism. If a theory can only be understood and evaluated within its own tradition, and there are many traditions (Greek, Medieval, Modern, etc.), there seems to be no way to adjudicate between them. In “Whose Justice? Which Rationality?” MacIntyre expands his conception of a tradition and likens it to a scientific model. A tradition, therefore, can be judged as superior or inferior to another by its explanatory power or by the kind of progress it makes in solving its own internal problems. If a tradition leaves too many things unsolved, if it generates too many inconsistencies, etc., then it is judged poorly. Obviously, there are many more interesting and intriguing details involved, including implications for the philosophy of language; this is just a grossly condensed version of the main idea. It can be found in chapters 1, 18, 19, and 20. The rest of the book (chapters 2 through 17) serves mostly to illustrate it by taking a look of how the concept of justice has been dealt with by 4 different traditions: Greek, Medieval, Scottish and Liberal. Now, why would MacIntyre structure his book this way, i.e. stating his main thesis in the first and final chapters, leaving the rest to be mere illustration of his points? Honestly, I think this was ill conceived. The book could have been split into two, the first (very short) one containing just the main thesis, and the second one consisting of the histories of the main philosophical traditions, which would have facilitated the reading and spread of MacIntyre’s ideas. As it is, the reader is bound to get disoriented quickly after the first chapter, when history takes over the philosophical development of After Virtue. I also have to fault MacIntyre for the same deficiencies of his previous book, that is, his writing style. It is dry as the Sahara desert and heavily academic to the point of tedium. Excessive use of the passive construction, of nominalizations, of weak verbs, all make reading very difficult. This is a shame, considering that the ideas are of enormous value, especially in the area of ethics, where a good many conflicting theories, subsumed under the heading of a tradition, can be reduced in number and judged more easily. Were it not for the philosophical content, I would rate this book more poorly, but since the ideas are of such enormous consequence (in my opinion), I will rate this 4 stars. Very recommended, but be very patient.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    Written to address some of the criticism leveled against After Virtue, I think this book is the best of the "trilogy" (including the follow-up, Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry. MacIntyre's comprehension of the historical development of the ground of ethical reasoning is astonishing, and his ability to write about this development in such a readable way is also quite a feat. What makes MacIntyre really worth reading is that he is able to integrate or deflect a lot of the post-modern critiqu Written to address some of the criticism leveled against After Virtue, I think this book is the best of the "trilogy" (including the follow-up, Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry. MacIntyre's comprehension of the historical development of the ground of ethical reasoning is astonishing, and his ability to write about this development in such a readable way is also quite a feat. What makes MacIntyre really worth reading is that he is able to integrate or deflect a lot of the post-modern critique of traditional ethics while remaining essentially Aristotelian (of the Thomistic variety).

  11. 5 out of 5

    William Randolph

    A long and somewhat inconclusive book. When I finished, I felt that I understood thoroughly what MacIntyre means by “tradition,” and was convinced that he's right about the basic dynamics of traditions of enquiry. Worth reading because it fleshes out what he says in After Virtue, and (perhaps unintentionally) hints at ways in which liberal democracy can be conceived of and appreciated as such a tradition. A long and somewhat inconclusive book. When I finished, I felt that I understood thoroughly what MacIntyre means by “tradition,” and was convinced that he's right about the basic dynamics of traditions of enquiry. Worth reading because it fleshes out what he says in After Virtue, and (perhaps unintentionally) hints at ways in which liberal democracy can be conceived of and appreciated as such a tradition.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aasem Bakhshi

    A tremendously influential work but a difficult read as compared to 'After Virtue'; probably because most of the readers including myself are not well familiar with all the moral, philosophical and cultural traditions referred in the book. I loved the last part about Hume and the Chapter about resolving the conflict between traditions. Overall, an amazing read supplying lots of important questions. A tremendously influential work but a difficult read as compared to 'After Virtue'; probably because most of the readers including myself are not well familiar with all the moral, philosophical and cultural traditions referred in the book. I loved the last part about Hume and the Chapter about resolving the conflict between traditions. Overall, an amazing read supplying lots of important questions.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Difficult concepts must be struggled with. This is a book to keep re-reading and extracting the idea of justice. MacIntyre is definitely an idea maker to be wrestled with, a modern Thomasist and Aristotlean of great import to all our lives.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Roberson

    A splendid piece of intellectual history. MacIntyre unfolds several different rationalities at odds with one another, confronting modern society with the unrecognized depth of the disagreement between different "views." A follow-up to his After Virtue. A splendid piece of intellectual history. MacIntyre unfolds several different rationalities at odds with one another, confronting modern society with the unrecognized depth of the disagreement between different "views." A follow-up to his After Virtue.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Tops

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daishin

  18. 4 out of 5

    L'abbe C

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark Buckley

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Thornton jr

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth J.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rob Wilson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Johnny B3

  25. 5 out of 5

    Douglas

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben Symons

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luke

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Crisafi

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