The Loss of Virtue – the Loss of Norm? On Alasdair MacIntyre’s Understanding of Moral Norms
The main objective of the article is to answer the question what form of ethical normativity is implied by the socially based teleology of MacIntyre’s After Virtue. The article reconstructs this normativity and provides its critique. It also takes into account author’s later development, characterized by his inclination to tomism which the author uses as a basis for metaphysical justification of norms. Regarding this point, the article critically assesses MacIntyre’s interpretation of the evaluation judgments and predicates in the later work Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity. Regarding After Virtue, the article deals with MacIntyre’s critique of Hume’s claim that norms cannot be inferred from the facts. It also furnishes an analysis of MacIntyre’s concepts of virtue, social practice, narrative and tradition which are supposed to establish ethical normativity. Regarding the analysis of MacIntyre’s conception of value judgments and predicates in his latest work, the article explains in what sense this conception is realistic and in what sense it is relativistic. The article concludes that MacIntyre’s conception of virtue ethics in After Virtue does not provide conceptual basis for justifying the validity of norms which would be moral, universally valid and unconditional.