Archive for December, 2008

Charles Taylor on Alisdair MacIntyre

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I love that warm feeling you get when you read something by an author you respect that beautifully articulates something you already believe. In this case, I discovered that Charles Taylor, who is a genius, basically shares my assessment of Alisdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue. Here is a quote from Sources of the Self that I discovered today:

The sympathies of this type of outlook [one that rejects modernity root and branch] tend to be rather narrow, and their reading of the varied facets of the modern identity unsympathetic. The deeper moral vision, the genuine moral sources invoked in the aspiration to disengaged reason to expressive fulfillment tend to be overlooked, and the less impressive motives—pride, self-satisfaction, liberation from demanding standards—brought to the fore. Modernity is often read through its least impressive, most trivializing offshoots.

A penetrating book like Alisdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue can create the impression in some readers [me!] of dismissing the Enlightenment Project simply as a mistake.