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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 19, 1994

Alasdair MacIntyre
Pages 1-8
DOI: 10.5840/jpr_1994_12

My Station and Its Virtues

This paper compares the central theses of Edmund M. Pincoffs’s Quandaries and Virtues with those of F. H. Bradley’s Ethical Studies. Both Pincoffs and Bradley understand virtues and duties as functional in respect of the common good of the social order. Both reject the individualism of Kantian and utilitarian theories. Both believe that ordinary moral agents do not appeal to and do not need to appeal to the kinds of justification for action defended by such theories. It is argued that the importance of these resemblances is partly disguised by the differences between Pincoffs’s and Bradley’s view. Pincoffs and Bradley are among those who, in the debates of modern moral philosophy, have recurrently defended an antitheoretical account against a variety of theorists. It is claimed that this debate is and must be inconclusive.

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