Teaching Justice After MacIntyre: Toward a Catholic Philosophy of Moral Education

Roger Bergman

in Catholic Social Learning

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233281
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241736 | DOI:
Teaching Justice After MacIntyre: Toward a Catholic Philosophy of Moral Education

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This chapter outlines MacIntyre's argument in his work “Plain Persons and Moral Philosophers” that Aristotelian practical reason is the best tradition of ethical practice available. It recapitulates in highly condensed form some of the much more developed arguments of MacIntyre's major books. It puts the Pedagogical Circle into a cultural-historical context. The philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre argued that social practices within a community of tradition and moral enquiry are the only context in which genuine virtue can be cultivated because meaningful understandings of virtue must be determinate and demandingly particular. This chapter argues that Catholic social pedagogy must be understood in this perspective, but also that understanding the communitarian roots of Catholic social teaching rebuts MacIntyre's colorful assertion that universal human rights are no more real than witches or unicorns.

Keywords: MacIntyre; ethical practice; Pedagogical Circle; Catholic social pedagogy; human rights

Chapter.  6471 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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