There is a way in which this kind of external reasons

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: s to be a “defensible distinction”30 between internal and external reasons for action. He distinguishes between a good reason for anyone who shares the goals and goods or a certain practice, on one side, and a reason that has force for a particular agent, on the other. The former is independent of the desires and motives of a particular agent, and can thus be considered CEU eTD Collection external, but regardless of that can be applied to the agent if he participates in this practice. There is a way in which this kind of external reasons can become internal as the agents’ motivations are transformed according to the role that the agent plays in the given practice. Indeed, this kind of transformation, and transcending of the limitations of her former limitation set is, according to Macintyre necessary for moral development of a person since childhood onwards.31 29 Ibidem, 119 Ibidem, 118 31 Macintyre claims this in a different reference to Williams’ text, in the book Dependant Rational Animals (Chicago, Illinois: Open Court, 1999.), 87: “Williams’ account certainly allows for moral development of some 30 20 According to Macintyre, in order to achieve this passage from wanting to achieve X simply because we desire it, towards desiring X qua good, we need to develop certain qualities. These qualities are intellectual and moral virtues.32 In his “After Virtue”, Macintyre gives a following provisional definition of virtues in their relation to the practices: “A virtue is an acquired human quality the possession and exercise of which tends to enable us to achieve those goods which are internal to practices and the lack of which effectively prevents us from achieving any such goods.”33 Although there are a potentially unlimited variety of practices which we can be a part of, there is a set of key virtues without which the goods internal to these practices will be “barred” to us.34 These key virtues are Macintyre claims, justice, courage and honesty. I am not going to go into detailed accounts Macintyre gives of why each of these is to be considered a key virtue. The one that I am particularly interested in this paper for reasons which should up till now be fairly obvious to the reader is – courage. In Macintyre’s own words: We hold courage to be a virtue because the care and concern for individuals, communities and causes which is so crucial to so much in practices requires the existence of such a virtue. If someone says that he cares for some individual, community or cause, but is unwilling to risk harm and danger on his, her or its own behalf, he puts in question the CEU eTD Collection genuineness of his care and concern. Courage, the capacity to risk harm or danger to oneself, has its role in human life because of this connection to care and concern. This is not to say that a man cannot genuinely care and also be a coward. It is in part to say that a man who kinds, but it obscures from view the way in which agents have to learn at various stages how to transcend what have been up till this or that point the limitations of their motivational...
View Full Document

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.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online