Narrative, Truth, and Relativism in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre

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Narrative, Truth, and Relativism in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre

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dc.contributor.advisor Lewis, V. Bradley en_US
dc.contributor.author McAdam, Brian M. en_US
dc.contributor.other Sokolowski, Robert en_US
dc.contributor.other Knobel, Angela en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-03-01T11:46:23Z
dc.date.available 2011-03-01T11:46:23Z
dc.date.created 2011 en_US
dc.date.issued 2011-03-01T11:46:23Z
dc.identifier.other McAdam_cua_0043A_10180 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1961/9311
dc.description Degree awarded: Ph.D. Philosophy. The Catholic University of America en_US
dc.description.abstract Alasdair MacIntyre advances a narrative approach to moral philosophy in which the truth in ethics is sought by means of narrating the stories of contending moral traditions. Critics often argue that MacIntyre's narrative approach to moral philosophy entails relativism because it denies objective moral truth, fails to provide a way to judge between the truth-claims of rival traditions, and/or implies that one's commitment to a particular tradition must be arbitrarily determined. This dissertation argues that MacIntyre's moral philosophy is not subject to the charges of relativism urged against it by critics.Chapter One presents some of the less controversial ways in which MacIntyre makes use of narrative. He sees narrative as the approach to moral philosophy through which action, human life, and the pursuit of the good receive their intelligibility. Considering these less problematic applications of narrative helps to show what MacIntyre means by narrative. Doing so also provides a foil to his more controversial use of narrative as it pertains to moral enquiry.Each of the remaining three chapters considers one of the aforementioned charges of relativism brought against MacIntyre's moral philosophy. Chapter Two considers the "perspectivist challenge," the claim that MacIntyre's philosophy neither aspires to nor allows for objective moral truth. This dissertation argues that MacIntyre overcomes the perspectivist challenge by advancing a robust, realist account of truth.Chapter Three considers the "relativist challenge," the criticism that MacIntyre fails to provide a way to adjudicate between the truth-claims of rival traditions. By virtue of his theory of how one tradition can defeat another in respect to their truth-claims, this dissertation argues that he overcomes the relativist challenge.Chapter Four evaluates the "particularist challenge," the claim that MacIntyre's moral philosophy is open to relativism by not being able to provide a person outside all moral traditions with reason to commit to one tradition rather than another. While MacIntyre has not yet published a response to the particularist challenge, this dissertation argues that his particularism compels him to reject the notion of those outside all traditions. By rejecting that notion, he can successfully overcome the particularist challenge as well. en_US
dc.format.extent 272 p. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.publisher The Catholic University of America en_US
dc.subject Philosophy en_US
dc.subject Ethics en_US
dc.subject.other Alasdair en_US
dc.subject.other Ethics en_US
dc.subject.other MacIntyre en_US
dc.subject.other Narrative en_US
dc.subject.other Relativism en_US
dc.subject.other Truth en_US
dc.title Narrative, Truth, and Relativism in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre en_US
dc.type Text en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US


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