De Gustibus est disputandum

I have been pushing this book, After Virtue, by contemporary moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre for sometime now. I just can't recommend it highly enough. If you are interested in the question of how morals are rationalized, and have been rationalized historically this book is for you. If you are interested in the question of the propriety tradition in a world which individual choice is prior to and stands over classical notions of authority and "accounting for taste" then this book is for you. Interested in how stories and narratives might be fundamental to our basic worldview?

It's not necessarily an easy read. You might have to follow some references to figure out all the nuts and bults of MacIntyre's arguments and illustrations, however it's a challenge well worth the pursuit.

De Gustibus non est disputandum translates into the more familiar phrase "there's no accounting for taste". MacIntyre's thrust is, on the contrary, there is within reason.


Kacy said...
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J Hearne said...

I do agree that it's an excellent book but I believe it's also a difficult book to read well. It helps to have a background in Aristotelian Virtue Ethics or, at the very least, to have read Nicomachean Ethics.

I like it but I, also, fear it falls prey to the problem of many continental philosophers: It's more than willing to theorize and speculate but shows insufficient analysis to limit and dissect the views as well. I guess I'm calling for a more critical eye within the argument.

Mark Kodak said...

Sounds like a great book to add to my wish list.

riz said...

I'm only familiar with McIntyre within theological criticism...I think I'm in love with your blog/profile.