The Differences between Kant's Ideas of Virtues in the 'Methaphisics of Morality' and the Understanding od Virtues in the Chosen Works of Alasdair MacIntyre.
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Kant deals with the issue of virtue in the context of the relationship between law and morality. Yet, traditional, for instance Aristotelian virtue ethics was constructed in contrast to law, not so much as its complement but rather as something higher, something equivalent to the natural law of the Bible and Stoicism. Kant is accomplishing an important task when he meticulously distinguishes law and morals and all the more so when he attributes more urgency to that moral minimum constituting the morality of law. But he is probably wrong when he locates the main and irreplaceable sources of order in the human world in the strictiy legislative power of reason. In general it could seem that the (probably Rousseauan) idea of moral legislation falls into a kind of sterility. Mclntyre in his works on virtue suggests that it is an error to overlook community-related conditions shaping every human person, endowing human beings with certain virtues of character and enabling them to inherit customs, and thereby growing in wisdom. We reach advanced intelectual autonomy, practical wisdom on a roundabout way - due to the long-lasting support of our neighbours and relatives, friends and acquaintances, compatriots and felilow citizens and last but not least by all human-beings and citizens of the world. The rationality which the human person reaches in the end is rather imperfect, discontinuous, related te the flesh and immediate surroundings, frail and finite. This rationality is a debt to our benefactors teachers and friends which we shall never be able to pay back.
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