Hence my allegiance to the community and what it

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Unformatted text preview: into being and maintained as a moral agent only through the particular kind of moral sustenance afforded by my community, then it is clear that deprived of this community, I am unlikely to flourish as a moral agent. Hence, my allegiance to the community and what it requires of me – even to the point of requiring me to die to sustain its life – could not meaningfully be counterposed to what morality required of me.”18 And this is why, in MacIntyre’s alternative account of morality, patriotism is a not only virtue, but a central virtue. If community is necessary for me to be a moral agent, than patriotism as a loyalty to this community is also necessary for my personal morality. In this case, even dying for the community is in the interest of morality, and not as in the liberal account, contrary to it, or inexplicable by it. However, MacInyre further claims, the main premise of this morality of patriotism is that an individual can only make sense of her moral obligations and capacities if she understands her own life as a part of historical narrative of her own community. And that, he CEU eTD Collection adds, means that patriotism can sensibly be regarded a virtue only in the communities based on the “bonds deriving from history”19. In communities in which these historical bonds have been substituted with bonds of reciprocal self-interest, as is the case in the modern liberal states, patriotism would have to be an irrational attitude. This, of course, does not mean that feelings of patriotism cannot exist even in the modern liberal states. They can and do exist. Moreover, they are purposefully incited by the state in the situations when personal sacrifices on behalf of the citizens have to be made, 18 19 Ibidem, 218 Ibidem, 225 11 armed conflict being the most notable of such situations. But, in MacIntyre’s opinion, since in such communities there is no possibility for genuine morality of patriotism, than “what paraded itself as patriotism would be an unjustifiable simulacrum”. Hence, the feelings incited by this simulacrum can be nothing more than a deception, or more simply put – a lie. The fact that this lie may be useful, or even necessary for the survival of the state, does not make it any CEU eTD Collection less of a lie. 12 CHAPTER 2: ON INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL REASONS Tamir’ whole conception is based on the concept borrowed from Bernard Williams – that of the ground project. In his text “Persons, characters, morality”, Williams indeed does claim that: “There is no contradiction in the idea of a man’s dying for a ground project – quite the reverse, since if death really is necessary for the project, then to live would be to live with it unsatisfied, something which, if it really is his ground project, he has no reason to do.”20 However, for what Williams means by “having a reason to do something” we will have to look more closely at his conception of internal and external reasons. As far as Macintyre’s account is concerned, the rea...
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2013 for the course ENGLISH LI 21 taught by Professor Han during the Fall '13 term at Tsinghua University.

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