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Alasdair MacIntyre on Ancient Philosophy - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 656
Ancient Philosophy/Moral/Virtues/Ethics/MacIntyre: in the heroic societies of Homer's time, the community was given priority. There was neither a pronounced individualism nor a reflected ethics. MacIntyre's thesis: "Moral and social structure" were "one and the same" in heroic society. (1)
Brocker I 657
It was not reflection that was decisive, but a practice of social action. "A man is what he does in heroic society." (2)
Polis/MacIntyre: in the Athenian Polis, the "holism" of heroic societies was lost and a pluralism of virtues was played out. There was no consensus as to why friendship, bravery, self-control, wisdom, justice were virtues and what they demanded (3), even if they were generally accepted. The Homeric principle of kinship was replaced by political isonomy, i.e. equal rights for citizens.
Sophists/MacIntyre: The sophists took Homer's motive of the right of the strong as a moral determining moment.
Plato: homogenized the concepts of virtue by arranging them and bringing them into a hierarchy.
State/Plato: should correspond to the ordered and rational soul.
Aristotle/MacIntyre: it was Aristotle who made ethical reflection a rational tradition. He deciphered the essence of human actions as the aspiration
Brocker I 658
for a good.
Def Virtues/Aristoteles: are the characteristics whose possessions enable the individual to attain eudaimonia.
Def Eudaimonia/Aristotele: the superior good of a successful life.
Polis/Aristoteles: The Polis provides the constitutive background against which Aristotle constructs his doctrine of virtue. The virtues develop their value only in relation to them, since they served not only the individual life, but the promotion of the community. (4)
MacIntyre: "If a pre-modern view of moral and politics is to be defended against modernism, it must be done in a similar way to the Aristotelian one, or not at all". (5)

1. Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue. A Study in Moral Theory, Notre Dame, Ind. 1981. Dt: Alasdair MacIntyre, Der Verlust der Tugend. Zur moralischen Krise der Gegenwart. Erweiterte Neuausgabe, Frankfurt/M. 2006 (zuerst 1987) S. 166.
2. Ibid. p. 164
3. Ibid. p. 181
4. Ibid. p. 200f.
5. Ibid. p. 160.

Jürgen Goldstein, „Alasdair MacIntyre, Der Verlust der Tugend“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
MacIntyre, Alasdair
Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-10-06
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