Can You Be Both Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Communist? (Seminar 1-Rerum Novarum)

This is a segment from the first session of the Summer Seminar on Distributism (2021), part of an hour and a half long session on the origins of Distributism in Aristotle’s Politics and various Catholic encyclicals (the one mainly mentioned here is Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII, 1891, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution). Distributism is a line of thought that opposes both capitalism and socialism/communism as equally materialistic and destructive of freedom and proposes a third way–more widespread ownership of private property. It is separable from religion, because it is primarily a proposal about how to deal with property, but this session covers its roots in Ancient Greek and Christian thought. … More Can You Be Both Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Communist? (Seminar 1-Rerum Novarum)

St. Benedicts Needed? MacIntyre and the New Dark Ages (After Virtue, Conclusions)

In this conclusion to the series on Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue I think about the significance of MacIntyr’e’s views on modern liberalism/capitalism (neoliberalism) and his ideas for the elements of stronger community. MacIntyre argues that we have entered a new Dark Ages without recognizing it, and that we need new, and probably very different, St. Benedicts to create ways of life to rebuild and preserve community in difficult times. The new Dark Age, as MacIntyre sees it, is a product of the amoral hyper-bureaucratization, technical rationality and fragmented responsibility characteristic of our times. After Virtue does not have all the answers about how to get past these problems, but his views on the elements involved in stronger community are definitely a start. … More St. Benedicts Needed? MacIntyre and the New Dark Ages (After Virtue, Conclusions)

From Hero to Consumer (After Virtue 8)

In pursuit of an alternative to value neutrality and the fragmented responsibility characterized by modern bureaucracy, Alasdair MacIntyre attempts to reconstruct a history of Western moral development. His aim is to help society re-learn Aristotelian teleology and virtue ethics. But to locate what he’s advocating he goes back to the Homeric Greek heroic ideal, then traces the emergence of a new kind of self (one that is self-conscious and aware of the distinction between self and society) in democratic Athens. Out of this society emerged Aristotle, whose thought came closer to what seems to be MacIntyre’s ideal–one that consciously deals with ethics both at the level of the particular society and at the level of universal claims. MacIntyre distances himself from Aristotle’s “metaphysical biology” and therefore from Aristotle’s claims that there are biologically determined natural roles and different virtues for different people, claiming that Aristotle mistook his society’s particular cultural norms for eternal truths. But can MacIntyre have Aristotle’s teleology and virtue ethics without his biological determinism? That is yet to be seen. … More From Hero to Consumer (After Virtue 8)

Revolt Against “Customer Service”: MacIntyre on the Managerial Monster God (After Virtue 7 Audio)

In Chapters 8 and 9 of After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre argues that social science cannot approximate the physical sciences in predictability and that the bureaucratic manager, king of “customer service” technique is therefore full of, well, something other than expertise. It turns out that freedom entails a lack of predictability, that Machiavellian “Fortuna” is better than being oppressively managed and that complete efficiency produces the breakdown of efficiency in employee/constituent revolt. In Chapter 9, MacIntyre begins the journey away from Nietzsche, whom he considers at least an honest nihilist, and towards Aristotle. … More Revolt Against “Customer Service”: MacIntyre on the Managerial Monster God (After Virtue 7 Audio)

Revolt Against “Customer Service”: MacIntyre on the Managerial Monster God (After Virtue 7)

In Chapters 8 and 9 of After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre argues that social science cannot approximate the physical sciences in predictability and that the bureaucratic manager, king of “customer service” technique is therefore full of, well, something other than expertise. It turns out that freedom entails a lack of predictability, that Machiavellian “Fortuna” is better than being oppressively managed and that complete efficiency produces the breakdown of efficiency in employee/constituent revolt. In Chapter 9, MacIntyre begins the journey away from Nietzsche, whom he considers at least an honest nihilist, and towards Aristotle.
More Revolt Against “Customer Service”: MacIntyre on the Managerial Monster God (After Virtue 7)

Aristotelian Virtue Ethics: After Virtue 2 (Audio)

We start with the fundamentals. In order to understand where Alisdair MacIntyre is coming from in After Virtue, we have to understand a few ideas inherited from the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle concerning teleology, man as political, and the meaning of virtue from Aristotle’s perspective. I take a first pass at contrasting Aristotelian thinking with the modern thought that MacIntyre thinks exploded the means of moral agreement within communities. … More Aristotelian Virtue Ethics: After Virtue 2 (Audio)

Aristotelian Virtue Ethics: After Virtue 2

We start with the fundamentals. In order to understand where Alisdair MacIntyre is coming from in After Virtue, we have to understand a few ideas inherited from the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle concerning teleology, man as political, and the meaning of virtue from Aristotle’s perspective. I take a first pass at contrasting Aristotelian thinking with the modern thought that MacIntyre thinks exploded the means of moral agreement within communities. … More Aristotelian Virtue Ethics: After Virtue 2