Two key claims in the work of Alasdair MacIntyre are identified for the purposes of this paper. The first, that human virtues are capacities required to sustain social practices defined in terms of rival moral traditions, is rejected in favor of a neo-Aristotelian conception of virtues as needed for general (cross-cultural) human flourishing. However, while the second claim (also found in Aristotle)--that the literary products and inheritances of human cultures provide the best possible insight into human moral character and virtue--is fully endorsed, it is also recognized that such literature inevitably shows moral life and experience to be a site of tension and conflict between moral imperatives and virtues. Notwithstanding this, it is argued that, since initiation into rational appreciation of such tension and conflict is the very stuff of moral education, such literature should be regarded as significant moral educational resource.


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pp. 1-16
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