A MacIntyrean Critique of Theoretical Pluralism in Applied Ethics

American Journal of Bioethics 16 (9):41-43 (2016)
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According to the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, there is an incommensurability between different theories of normative ethics. MacIntyre’s view on the incommensurability of ethical discourse casts doubt upon the pluralistic proposal of Magelssen and colleagues, since the insights gained from the various theories will themselves be incommensurate with one another. However, since there are obvious benefits provided both by arguments for pluralism and the insights of Magelssen and colleagues, I utilize some later work of MacIntyre to offer an alternative means of conceiving of the role of ethical theories not as providing direct insights, but rather as imagined perspectives which will give rise to practical knowledge for the clinical ethicists, which can be used in developing their conclusions.



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Brandon Boesch
Morningside College

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References found in this work

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
Moral Luck.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Critica 17 (51):101-105.

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