Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Gerard Doppelt"

Titel: Modernity and Conflict
Autor: Gerard Doppelt
Seite: 206-231

Abstract: In this essay, I seek to provide a plausible alternative to MacIntyre's bold and provocative conception of modernity. I contest his claim that modern social life is marked by (1) the absence of any shared paradigm of the good, tradition, and social morality; (2) rationally interminable normative conflict; (3) characteristically instrumental power-oriented social relations; and (4) the impossibility of genuine human achievement and virtue. I argue that modern conflict is rooted not in the absence of a shared paradigm of the good or the moral; but rather in a structure of social irrationality built into the modern conception of the good as the achievement of individual recognition in and through socioeconomic activity. I argue that while this conception has affirmative dimensions and does permit genuine virtue the way it is culturally interpreted and institutionally embodied in modern capitalist society reproduces destructive scarcities in human recognition and the degradation of ordinary persons capacity for virtue. Where MacIntyre argues for a restoration of the pre-modern ( Aristotelian) conception of the moral to be realized in spheres of activity external to socio-economic life, I argue for an immanent critique of modern liberal individualism which would humanize the meaning, conditions, and results of labor and livelihood.

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