Dependent Rational Animals, by Alasdair MacIntyre

Are humans really different from animals and, if so, how? And what difference does the answer make for our understanding of human morality? Through questions such as these, Alasdair MacIntyre brings his philosophy into dialogue with recent studies of dolphins, gorillas and other animals.

At first glance, these look like new interests for MacIntyre, who is widely known for his contributions to narrative ethics and his belief that moral reason is always nestled within the folds of tradition-based communal practices, virtues and stories. MacIntyre is credited with providing the philosophical foundations for the narrative ethics of Stanley Hauerwas and for the theory of the social sciences undergirding Robert Bellah and colleagues' Habits of the Heart.

 

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