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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 23, 2018

Rev. Joseph Scolaro
Pages 113-124
DOI: 10.5840/cssr20182311

After Ethics
Bringing Transcendence to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Concept of Tradition

In the past half-century, Alasdair MacIntyre has introduced a groundbreaking new perspective in the field of virtue ethics with his philosophical history and emphasis on tradition. Many believe, however, that his arguments fail to provide a foundation for the coherent ethical theory he seeks to build. One possible reason for this failure is that as much as he looks to Aristotle for a figure who was able to engage in fruitful ethical debate, he does not account for the profound changes which have occurred since his time, above all in the modern presumption that the human mind can transcend the boundaries of the universe and grasp the truth of reality. This paper will therefore argue that by integrating a sense of the transcendent with MacIntyre’s philosophical project, particularly with his theory of tradition, one can find a more successful path to meaningful ethical enquiry.