Res Publica 11 (3):251-273 (2005)

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 Philosophy   Philosophy   Ethics   Philosophy of Law   Philosophy of Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-005-0558-8
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,855
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Political Liberalism and the False Neutrality Objection.Étienne Brown - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1:1-20.
Hume on the Limits of Reason in the Realm of the Practical: Some Aristotelian Observations.Marián Kuna - 2007 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 14 (3):303-319.
Je Aristoteles Reálnou Alternatívou?Ladislav Kvasz - 2008 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 15 (2):206-210.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
76 ( #123,826 of 2,342,957 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #240,294 of 2,342,957 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes