Article

Reason, tradition, and the good: Macintyre's tradition-constituted reason and frankfurt school critical theory

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

In Reason, Tradition, and the Good, Jeffery L. Nicholas addresses the failure of reason in modernity to bring about a just society, a society in which people can attain fulfillment. Developing the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, Nicholas argues that we rely too heavily on a conception of rationality that is divorced from tradition and, therefore, incapable of judging ends. Without the ability to judge ends, we cannot engage in debate about the good life or the proper goods that we as individuals and as a society should pursue. Nicholas claims that the project of enlightenment-defined as the promotion of autonomous reason-failed because it was based on a deformed notion of reason as mere rationality, and that a critical theory of society aimed at human emancipation must turn to substantive reason, a reason constituted by and constitutive of tradition. To find a reason capable of judging ends, Nicholas suggests, we must turn to Alasdair MacIntyre's Thomistic-Aristotelianism. Substantive reason comprises thinking and acting on the set of standards and beliefs within a particular tradition. It is the impossibility of enlightenment rationality to evaluate ends and the possibility of substantive reason to evaluate ends that makes the one unsuitable and the other suitable for a critical theory of society. Nicholas's compelling argument, written in accessible language, remains committed to the promise of reason to help individuals achieve a good and just society and a good life. This requires, however, a complete revolution in the way we approach social life. "Jeffery Nicholas has written an important and valuable book that invites its readers to discover the difficulties of late modern Western thought from the perspective of twentieth-century critical theory, and to consider a response to those difficulties drawn from the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor". Copyright

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Virtue ethics informs such microfoundations because it has a distinctive conception of human agency. From a virtue ethical perspective rationality is understood as substantive rather than instrumental (Frey, 2018;Nicholas, 2012) because human beings naturally pursue a range of goods (Finnis, 2011;Frey, 2019;MacIntyre, 1999;Nussbaum, 2011;Rödl, 2007) that together constitute a flourishing life. This contrasts with perspectives grounded in rational choice theory that focus on instrumental rationality, both those that view agents as fully rational and those which adopt bounded rationality (Simon, 1955), though it shares with the latter an appreciation for the inherent cognitive limitations that human beings face (Annas, 2011;MacIntyre, 1999). ...
Article
Organizations involve joint production where members engage in purposive coordination and cooperation with others. Scholars have often noted the importance of “moral factors” in facilitating such collaboration but previous research has not adequately explained the nature of these moral factors, how they are embodied within joint production, or why organization members willingly adhere to them. We draw upon virtue ethics to address these questions. We argue that joint production represents a distinct, organization-level practice embodying morally salient standards of professional excellence that contribute to the development of members’ virtues through habituation. We then elaborate microfoundations for this account, developing a virtue ethical account of human agency as directed toward human flourishing such that members willingly adhere to organizational norms and values when they coherently embody goods that contribute to human flourishing.
... Together, these works serve to make his argument against modern moral theories and for a turn to Aristotle by exploring different traditions of reason. In each, MacIntyre defends the Aristotelian conception of reason, not simply as capable of accessing our telos, but also as a power by which we can evaluate our ends-something all contemporary political theory seems to abhor (see Nicholas 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
For over sixty years, Alasdair MacIntyre has written on the challenges to human flourishing, first as a Marxist and Christian and now as a Thomistic-Aristotelian who insists on the need to read Marx. He has criticized Stalinist Marxism and political liberalism because both rest on autonomous morality, or the divorce of “is” from “ought.” In his mature work, he proposes the concept of practices as a way to unite “is” and “ought” and resist emotivism/expressivism. His theory faces certain weaknesses: the refusal to engage with nation-state politics and of the problem of authoritarianism and a lack of discussion of the domination of nature. Regardless, MacIntyre’s Aristotelianism provides resources in its defense of local communities, its understanding of practices, and its continuous critique of liberalism. Utopian and left thinkers would serve their project best by engaging with MacIntyre’s analysis of autonomous morality, without which we will fail to advance utopian causes.
... Indeed, for Habermas, agreement rests on common convictions resulting from a form of social interaction called communicative action, in which the acceptance or rejection of a criticizable validity claim by two communicators is based on potential grounds or reasons that support or undermine the claim. And communicative rationality, conceived as temporally and historically situated within the communicative practices of modern societies, is not something accessible only to a few people or only in certain situations, but something everybody uses already in daily life (Nicholas, 2012). A notable example of Confucians who share this communicative concept of rationality in the modern world is Liang Shuming. ...
Article
Nowadays, there is still a widely held view that the Chinese and Western modes of thought are quite distinct from each other. In particular, the Chinese mode of thought derived from Confucianism is considered as comparatively less rational than the Western one. In this article, I first argue that although the analogical mode of argumentation, which is often claimed to be in sharp contrast with the Western mode of rationalism, has played a prominent role in Confucianism, it does not make Confucianism any less rational. Then, I examine the normative and communicative features of Confucian rationalism, exploring the implications of these features for critical thinking in education.
... But Davidson fails to recognize the considerable complexity of this process. The meaning of any particular desirable property sought in action is inseparable from the ideals and conceptions of the good (Taylor 1985a;MacIntyre 2007;Nicholas 2012) undergirding the selection of operationalized goals. Agents not only seek to perform actions with certain desirable properties, actions whose goals are operationalized, but they also seek to realize non-operationalized ideals through such actions (Quante 2004;Rödl 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Feldman (Organization Science 11(6): 611–629, 2000) describes the striving mechanism as a mode of routine change driven by successful organizational routines. Striving describes a process by which organization members gain a better understanding of the ideals undergirding their actions. In turn, this insight drives changes within routines. In this paper, I argue that the rational actor model, especially as articulated in Donald Davidson’s (1963) theory of action, is unable to account for the striving mechanism of endogenous routine change identified by Feldman (Organization Science 11(6): 611–629, 2000). Drawing upon Brewer’s (2011) criticisms of propositional theories of desire, the account of meta-language intentional attitudes developed by List and Pettit (2011), and MacIntyre’s (2007) theory of social practices, I introduce an expanded framework for conceptualizing agency at the individual level, and aggregation at the organization level, that better accounts for the striving mechanism as a process of endogenous routine change.
... Como señala MacIntyre, las tradiciones engloban ideas y valores fundamentales que están encarnados histórica y socialmente, y son compartidos 20 . En ellas se integran conocimientos teóricos acerca de los hechos, saberes de tipo técnico -saber cómo hacer algo-y, fundamentalmente, ese saber que ayuda a lograr algo que constituye una de las más profundas aspiraciones e intereses del ser humano: saber qué conviene hacer, decir u omitir, cuando estamos con nuestros semejantes 21 . ...
Chapter
Full-text available
SUMARIO 1. Introducción 2. El estadio estético: "vivir en el presente" 3. "Presentismo digital" y reivindicación de la tradición 4. Educación, cultura y tradición
... That facts are subjective artifacts is not new. Pioneering sociologists, such as Emile Durkheim (Durkheim, 1996), Michel Foucault (Burchell, Gordon, & Miller, 1991;Foucault, 2008), and the Frankfurt School (Nicholas, 2012) (to name a few), ruminated over the subjectivities of knowledge more than a century ago. But the difference in our current modern, hyperglobalized world is that the subjective nature of facts is increasingly both the best tool we have to deal with global risk, and a prime source of global risk at the same time. ...
... It is through our membership of and role within such communities that we develop our sense of what a good life might mean, what the virtues are for and what our own purposes and ends might be. 21,22 Such communities may be understood at many different levels, 23,24 all the way from the large social movements of national and religious cultures, through to particular ways of life in towns and workplaces, and including the traditions of particular practices. ...
Article
Background:: The debate over the ethical implications of care robots has raised a range of concerns, including the possibility that such technologies could disrupt caregiving as a core human moral activity. At the same time, academics in information ethics have argued that we should extend our ideas of moral agency and rights to include intelligent machines. Research objectives:: This article explores issues of the moral status and limitations of machines in the context of care. Design:: A conceptual argument is developed, through a four-part scheme derived from the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. No empirical data are used. Ethical consideration:: No primary data were gathered for this study. Secondary sources and authorship have been acknowledged throughout. Findings / discussion:: Certain kinds of social experience, including the narrative unity of a life, and the giving and receiving of care, are essential for moral development. Machines, no matter how advanced, cannot participate in such experiences in key respects, and thus cannot develop as practical reasoners. Conclusion:: It follows that they cannot be moral agents and that they cannot care. There are, it seems, no such things as care robots. In view of the institutional power of tech companies and commissioning bodies, care practitioners need to take more of a lead in developing new assistive technologies which are appropriate to their practice.
... They operate at all levels of social structure (MacIntyre, 2007), from the very wide (growing up with Islam, compared to growing up with Buddhism, for instance) to the very local (growing up in particular families and communities). Traditions also operate in the context of practices and organisations (Nicholas, 2012). Older members of this group of bankers speak of 'traditional bankers', 'bankers born and bred', etc., and all of them describe specific traditions of old banking, from revealing cultural details, such as blue or pink envelopes for mail from the personnel department directed to male or female staff respectively, to central structural features, such as the necessity of passing banking exams in order to progress to management. ...
Article
Full-text available
It has been an enduring concern of institutional economics and critical realism to understand how individuals are able to exercise agency in the context of social structures, and to maintain appropriate connections, separations and balances between these two levels of causal power. This paper explores the contribution of Alasdair MacIntyre's neo-Aristotelian philosophy to the topic. Empirical data are provided from the career narratives of senior Scottish bankers recalled in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007/8. The method of the study is interpretive, using themes drawn from MacIntyre's writings. These bankers faced moral choices as tensions developed between their own professional standards and the new corporate goals of the banks. We discuss MacIntyre's understanding of individual moral agency as a narrative quest in the context of different types of institution with different and often conflicting ideas about what constitutes good or right action. Habituation and deliberation are important in enabling action, but fully developed moral agency also depends on individuals being able to make choices in the space opened up by tensions within and between institutions.
... Practices, for MacIntyre, are those activities which possess complex internal goods, are intrinsically rewarding, and serve as the primary basis of his account of the virtues. To this basis in practices, MacIntyre adds the concept of the narrative unity of human life, the concept of traditions of enquiry (2007 [originally published 1981]), which received further elaboration in later works (1988,1990; see also Lutz 2004;Nicholas 2012), and a conception of flourishing rooted in human biology (1999), each of which is necessary for a full understanding of the virtues. Practices, however, are of vital importance and provide the conceptual bedrock of MacIntyre's ethical theory. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper seeks to show how MacIntyre’s concept of a practice can survive a series of ‘scope problems’ which threaten to render the concept inapplicable to business ethics. I begin by outlining MacIntyre’s concept of a practice before arguing that, despite an asymmetry between productive and non-productive practices, the elasticity of the concept of a practice allows us to accommodate productive and profitable activities. This elasticity of practices allows us to sidestep the problem of adjudicating between practitioners and non-practitioners as well as the problem of generic activities. I conclude by suggesting that the contemporary tendency to regard work as an object of consumption, rather than undermining MacIntyre’s account of practices, serves to demonstrate the potential breadth of its applicability.
... Because of the influence of Marx on MacIntyre and the latter's continuing engagement with Marxian concepts, he should be seen as a post-Marxist thinker (Therborn 2008), comparable to theorists as such as Alain Badiou, Pierre Bourdieu, and Jacques Rancière, whose work is of continuing relevance to the Marxist tradition. A number of recent books and articles have sought to emphasize this point, highlighting Marx's persistent influence on MacIntyre (Blackledge 2011(Blackledge , 2012(Blackledge , 2009Burns 2011;Callinicos 2011;Davidson 2011;Nicholas 2012). Similarly, a collection of MacIntyre's (2008) early writings titled Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism: Selected Writings, 1953-1974 has recently been published. ...
Article
This essay recounts the continuing influence of Marx on Alasdair MacIntyre’s Aristotelian practical philosophy, first tracing the latter’s commitment to democracy and account of the nature of flourishing communities to his reading of Marx. It then discusses MacIntyre’s reappropriation of Marx’s Capital in his most recent book, Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity, noting the contrast between MacIntyre’s Nietzschean reading of modern morality in After Virtue and his Marxian reading of morality in his latest book. After contrasting MacIntyre’s position with Althusser’s account of ideology, it concludes by arguing that MacIntyre’s recent reappropriation of Marxian concepts, while selective, points to the need to uncover new economic institutions capable of realizing his neo-Aristotelian practical philosophy.
... Even if some, many, or even all participants engage in practices for the sake of external goods, developing necessary skills (MacIntyre 2007, 193) but not exercising virtues, the activities do not cease to be practices, even if such misdirected engagement imperils them. History is littered with neglected, abandoned, or lost practices (Nicholas 2012), but they remain practices nonetheless. ...
Article
Finance may suffer from institutional deformations that subordinate its distinctive goods to the pursuit of external goods, but this should encourage attempts to reform the institutionalization of finance rather than to reject its potential for virtuous business activity. This article argues that finance should be regarded as a domain-relative practice (Beabout 2012; MacIntyre 2007). Alongside management, its moral status thereby varies with the purposes it serves. Hence, when practitioners working in finance facilitate projects that create common goods, it allows them to develop virtues. This argument applies MacIntyre’s widely acknowledged account of the relationship between practices and the development of virtues while questioning some of his claims about finance. It also takes issue with extant accounts of particular financial functions that have failed to identify the distinctive goods of financial practice.
Chapter
Nowadays, there is still a widely held view that the Chinese and Western modes of thought are quite distinct from each other. In particular, the Chinese mode of thought derived from Confucianism is considered as comparatively less rational than the Western one. In this chapter, I first argue that although the analogical mode of argumentation, which is often claimed to be in sharp contrast with the Western mode of rationalism, has played a prominent role in Confucianism, it does not make Confucianism any less rational. Emphasizing the importance of rational considerations in Confucian philosophy, I then discuss the normative and communicative features of Confucian rationalism. Finally, I examine the implications of these features for critical thinking in education.
Article
What can be learned from a small scale study of managerial work in a highly marginal and under-researched working community? This article uses the ‘goods–virtues–practices–institutions’ framework to examine the managerial work of owner–directors of traditional circuses. Inspired by MacIntyre’s arguments for the necessity of a narrative understanding of the virtues, interviews explored how British and Irish circus directors accounted for their working lives. A purposive sample was used to select subjects who had owned and managed traditional touring circuses for at least 15 years, a period in which the economic and reputational fortunes of traditional circuses have suffered badly. This sample enabled the research to examine the self-understanding of people who had, at least on the face of it, exhibited the virtue of constancy. The research contributes to our understanding of the role of the virtues in organizations by presenting evidence of an intimate relationship between the virtue of constancy and a ‘calling’ work orientation. This enhances our understanding of the virtues that are required if management is exercised as a domain-related practice.
Article
In this paper, I show that in the field of political theology, Alasdair MacIntyre is best seen not as the harbinger of an isolated, nostalgic, and conservative politics, but as an advocate of a kind of pluralistic dialog similar to that advocated by adherents of radical democracy. After an overview of MacIntyre's contemporary appropriation of Aristotle, I argue that reading MacIntyre in the light of his rejection of the fact-value distinction helps show the radical (rather than balkanizing) theo-political implications of his work, and dissolves many of the obstacles that might cause one to suspect that MacIntyre's project necessarily leads to withdrawal from pluralistic society. In conclusion, I sketch the contours of a MacIntyrean politics by way of his anthropological insights in Dependent Rational Animals. From this angle, one can see MacIntyre advocating a “local politics of dependence” that does not eschew inter-traditioned dialog, but seeks to enable its occurrence despite the resistance provided by...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we offer a conceptualization of leadership as contemplative. Drawing on MacIntyre’s perspective on virtue ethics and Levinas’ and Gilligan’s work on the ethics of responsibility and care, we propose contemplative leadership as virtuous activity; reflexive, engaged, relational, and embodied practice that requires knowledge from within context and practical wisdom. More than simply offering another way to conceptualize the ethics of leadership (e.g., what leaders ought to do), this research contributes to understanding the ethics of leadership in practice. Empirically, we analyze the narratives of those in positions of formal authority and other organizational members in churches. We illustrate contemplative leadership as driven by a good purpose, derived from the unique organizational and broader societal context in which leadership occurs, and grounded in an ethical concern for the other. Contemplative leadership accounts for the complexity of experience and is discerned in mundane and everyday practices. We conclude with the implications for leadership theory, practice, and education.
Article
Alasdair MacIntyre has developed a theory of the rationality of traditions that is designed to show how we can maintain both the tradition-bound nature of rationality, on the one hand, and non-relativism, on the other. However, his theory has been widely criticized. A number of recent commentators have argued that the theory is either inconsistent with his own conception of rationality or else is dependent on the standards of his particular tradition and therefore fails to defuse the threat of relativism. In the present essay, I argue that this objection is mistaken.
Article
Full-text available
Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue presented a reinterpretation of Aristotelian virtue ethics that is contrasted with the emotivism of modern moral discourse, and provides a moral scheme that can enable a rediscovery and reimagination of a more coherent morality. Since After Virtue’s (AV’s) publication, this scheme has been applied to a variety of activities and occupations, and has been influential in the development of research in accounting ethics. Through a ‘close’ reading of Chaps. 14 and 15 of AV, this paper considers and applies the key concepts of practices, institutions, internal and external goods, the narrative unity of a human life and tradition, and the virtues associated with these concepts. It contributes, firstly, by providing a more accurate and comprehensive application of MacIntyre’s scheme to accounting than that available in the existing literature. Secondly, it identifies areas in which MacIntyre’s scheme supports the existing approach to professional accounting ethics as articulated by the various International Federation of Accountants pronouncements as well as areas in which it provides a critique and challenge to this approach. The application ultimately provides an alternative philosophical perspective through which accounting can be examined and further research into accounting ethics pursued.
Chapter
We need a better way to understand the role of moral philosophy in contributing to our notion of the character of the manager. A Socratic approach to moral philosophy, which stands in contrast to a more widespread view of the professional philosopher, is proposed. One who uses a Socratic approach understands the philosopher’s tasks in terms of pursuing wisdom and cultivating virtues needed to pursue excellence in one’s social roles and as a human being. Alasdair MacIntyre takes this sort of Socratic approach. The book’s purpose is to apply this approach to moral philosophy to engage, criticize, and extend MacIntyre’s work on the manager as a character.
Article
Full-text available
Introducción. La leptospirosis es la enfermedad zoonótica de más amplia difusión en el mundo, que ocasiona serias pérdidas económicas en diferentes especies animales. En Colombia, son escasos los estudios serológicos en equinos, por lo que se des- conoce la reactividad de los principales serovares. Objetivo. Determinar el estado sanitario a Leptospi- ra spp. en equinos aparentemente sanos e identifi- car los principales serovares. A la vez, relacionar la seropositividad con la edad, el grupo etario y el sexo. Materiales y métodos. Se realizó un estudio trans- versal en (n=94) equinos que provenían de 4 muni- cipios de los departamentos del Meta y Guaviare. Se utilizó como prueba diagnóstica el test de aglu- tinación microscópica (MAT) frente a 10 serovares. Resultados. La seroprevalencia en la subpoblación fue L. pomona 41.5 %, L. icterohaemorragiae 40.4 %, L. grippothyposa 24.5 %, L. javanica 23.4 %, L. canícola 16 %, L. hardjoprajitno 10.6 %, L tarassovi 7,4 %, L. hebdomadis 7,4 %, L. wolffi 2,1 % y L. bra- tislava 1,1 %. El 23.4 % de los animales no mostró reactividad serológica, mientras que la respuesta a uno o más serovares fue de 76.6 %. Conclusión. Los serovares más prevalente fueron pomona y icterohaemorragaiae, que pueden ser el reflejo de las condiciones epidemiológicas específicas para los municipios de donde procedían los animales.
Article
A cikk Habermas és MacIntyre összehasonlítását végzi el diskurzusetikai szempontból. Először az összehasonlítasukra irányuló korábbi próbálkozásokat (illetve hiányosságaikat) értékeli, Habermas MacIntyre-kritikáját is ide értve, majd az etikájukban meglévő közös vonásokat emeli ki. Ez után három olyan kérdést vizsgál, amelyek mentén érdemes lehet összehasonlítani és esetenként részben korrigálni az álláspontjukat. Ezek: az igazság és az ideális kommunikációs közösség viszonyának kérdése, a jogok idealitásának kérdése, valamint az ideális és reális politikai filozófiák különbségének problémája.
Article
In this paper, I trace out Alasdair MacIntyre’s assessment of managerial capitalism as a uniquely positioned critique occupying an intersection between the sociology of knowledge, ideology critique, and social science metatheory. The first part of this paper outlines MacIntyre’s historical claim that social science principles diffused into an ‘industrial social science’ in the first half of the twentieth century. Tracing out this history allows us to identify four major categories of critique levelled against managerialism, spanning managerialism’s practices to its social location as a discourse of scientific, objective knowledge. That four category typology provides a framework to understand MacIntyre’s specific critique of managerialism as concerned primarily with metatheoretical flaws. MacIntyre's argument provides a valuable sociological account of how flawed presuppositions lend to the creation of flawed descriptions of social reality. These descriptions come to serve as the ‘ideology of bureaucratic control’ when taken up as authoritative knowledge of organizational dynamics.
Article
Today’s Left has inherited and internalized the rift that split the New Left. This split led to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Herbert Marcuse: An Exposition and a Polemic, a book that angered many because of MacIntyre’s harsh treatment of Marcuse. I situate MacIntyre’s engagement with Marcuse against the background of the split in the New Left: on the one side, E. P. Thompson, MacIntyre, and those who then saw the revolutionary class in the proletariat, and on the other side, Perry Anderson, Robin Blackburn, and Marcuse who seemed to put their faith in radical student intellectuals, Third World movements, and identity politics. I examine—without polemics— this rift in search of a new basis for Left unity, particularly as regards the question of radical, working class subjectivity. I argue that we must draw from MacIntyre his concept of revolutionary practices and from Marcuse—in One-Dimensional Man and Eros and Civilization—the analysis of technological rationality, aesthetic reason, phantasy, and imagination.
Chapter
Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre, born 1929 in Glasgow, has not always been fond of Aristotle or of what is nowadays labelled ‘Aristotelian Naturalism’. Today he calls himself a ‘Thomistic Aristotelian’, but this is far from self-evident given the many changes throughout his life and work. In the end, MacIntyre has elaborated a Thomistic Aristotelianism that is meant as a criticism of those forms of ethical and political thinking which neglect the rational as well as the social and animal nature of human beings.
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize the precepts of the natural law and, in particular, their metaphysical and epistemic relationship to human nature, rationality, theology, tradition and practices. My account of the natural law is based on Alasdair MacIntyre’s approach, however, since his claims regarding the dependence or independence of the natural law from the notions listed above might often seem ambiguous, I engage in a reconstruction both of how it is most plausible to read MacIntyre’s claims concerning this topic, and how it is most plausible to conceive the natural law. MacIntyre basically argues that we can conceive the precepts of the natural law as the precepts of rational enquiry that we need to pursue in order to overcome the one-sidedness of our beliefs. I take this line of argument for his account of the natural law successful and ask the question what place the established norms have. As MacIntyre argues that all standpoints imply at least an implicit, even if not explicit, adherence to the authority of the natural law in virtue of their claim to truth, I argue that regardless of the exact content of our practices and beliefs regarding human nature, traditions and religion, we could know the basic requirements of the natural law. This is true even if the natural law itself is metaphysically dependent on human nature or on God. However, certain practices and beliefs can either shed more light or obscure the precepts of the natural law, hence it is important to learn from various traditions, religions, practices in a shared enquiry whose norms aspire to follow the actual precepts of the natural law as closely as possible.
Book
(Published in Creating Public Value in Practice: Advancing the Common Good in a Multi-Sector, Shared-Power, No One Wholly-in-Charge World, eds. John Bryson, Barbara Crosby, Laura Bloomberg, CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group, Feb 2015) Recently, the for-profit sector has dramatically increased its market share in the education market. Although many students who otherwise would not have received an education have benefited from this trend, there are worrisome aspects to this development. Evidence suggests that for-profit education frequently fails to serve the best interest of its students. Also, for-profit education fuels a focus on only the short- and medium-term economic benefits of education, at the expense of longer term benefits to society. One reason the long-term benefits of education tend to be ignored is because they are hard to measure. Short-term economic value is easy to quantify, and it is a value about which there is broad-based consensus among key decision makers. Public value, in contrast, is harder to measure and harder to agree on. Most theoretical frameworks tend to reinforce this shortcoming by assuming, for example, that individual, utility-maximizing agents have pre-given preferences in a relatively static institutional environment. We challenge these assumptions by focusing on a meso-level conception of practices that mediates the relationship between dynamically conceived entities — namely, macro-level institutions and micro-level individuals. Inspired particularly by Alasdair MacIntyre, we present a theory of practices built from the ground up on managerial decision-making practices. In doing so, we uncover the practical mechanisms by which myopic economic values crowd out public values. Legal structures reinforce a strict boundary between for-profit and nonprofit institutions, effectively reinforcing the weaknesses of each: for-profit institutions have good access to financing, but drive out public values; nonprofit institutions foster public values, but fail to find sufficient financing. Legal reform can address these problems by encouraging collaborative financing efforts in a way that is sensitive to the strengths and weaknesses of each sector. Low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs), for example, offer a way for nonprofit stakeholders and for-profit investors to collaborate, but there are dangers in bringing these different sectors together. Cross-sectoral legal reform must therefore prevent economic interests from co-opting other, public-values-based practices. This could be done, for example, by placing limits on the payouts or take-over provisions of for-profit investors can receive. This would prevent economic, profit-maximizing incentives from dominating the culture of mission-driven institutions, while still allowing mission-driven stakeholders to access financing in ways that are currently not possible.
Article
L'A. porte son attention sur les changements de paradigmes et sur la dynamique theorique au sein de la sociologie critique. Il voit en Georg Lukacs le fondateur de cette perspective. Il souligne l'influence de Hegel, de Weber et de Marx dans l'oeuvre de Lukacs. Il rappelle que ce dernier a propose une lecture nouvelle du marxisme, dont Alfred Sohn-Rethel a mis en evidence les limites, et qui fut a l'origine du « marxisme occidental ». Il estime que la theorie webero-marxiste de la reification a permis d'etudier avec succes les causes du developpement de l'industrie culturelle ainsi que les phenomenes de rationalisation induits par l'avenement de la modernite. Il evoque les echecs rencontres par la theorie hegelo-marxiste de la conscience de classe notamment au niveau de l'analyse des phenomenes d'autorite, de la personnalite autoritaire et de l'analyse de la famille. Il tente d'isoler les causes des changements de paradigmes, des « revolutions scientifiques », survenus dans le cadre de la theorie critique. Il evoque trois episodes centraux dans l'histoire de cette perspective : la mise en defaut de la perspective defendue par Carl Grunberg, l'avenement de celle proposee par Max Horkheimer puis son remplacement par la theorie de Jurgen Habermas. Ce dernier a su montrer la fragilite de la notion de « science bourgeoise » dont la science critique apparait comme le pendant. Habermas preconise une epistemologie qui met en avant les concepts de systeme et d'univers de vie.
Article
Despite widespread confusion over its meaning, the notion of a conceptual scheme is pervasive in Anglo‐American philosophy, particularly amongst those who call themselves ‘conceptual relativists’. In this paper, I identify three different ways to understand conceptual schemes. I argue that the two most common models, deriving from Kant and Quine, are flawed, and, in addition, useless for the relativist. Instead, I urge adoption of a ‘neo‐Kantian’, broadly Wittgensteinian model, which, it is ‘ argued, is immune from Davidsonian objections to the very idea of a scheme.
Article
Western European and Native American approaches to spirituality, nature, and science have implications for policy decisions now and into the Twenty First century. This essay explicates traditional American Indian and Western European philosophic and spiritual views of nature in order to promote dialogue and inform choices that are crucial regarding the future of the biosphere. A concept of nature, then, is more than just an explanation of how living things interact with one another. It also serves as a reference point for deciphering the meaning of existence itself. Jeremy Rifkin
Article
This essay explores the status of moral accounting in relation to contingent misfortune. It does so by comparing the oracular procedures of the Azande of Center Africa to a modern pseudo-psychotherapeutic interaction. Though the first is in principle mystical and the second rational, both forms of inquiry are shown to display a certain indifference to contradiction. The reason for this indifference rests with the consideration that both focus on practical rather than theoretical questions. Nevertheless, in the pseudo-psychotherapcutic interaction the presumption of theory qua theory makes a difference. That presumption comports a principle of epistemological certainty, removing the ground from moral accounting while privileging naturalistic explanation. In this light, contrary to received anthropological opinion, it is the selfcraft of much psychotherapy rather than the witchcraft of the Azande that must count as a closed system.
Eucharist and Dragon Fighting as Resistance: Against Commodity Fetishism and Scientism
  • Nicholas J.