DESCRIPTION OF COURSE UNIT


1.

Code

Course unit title

Title of the degree programme

LLL17B000064

Politics and Ethics in Alasdair MacIntyre’s Thought

Elective subject


2.

Name of lecturer(s)

Departament(s)

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Andrius Bielskis (andrius.bielskis@mruni.eu)

a. o: Prof. Dr. Andrius Bielskis

Institute of Political Sciences


3.

Cycle of course unit

Level of course unit

Type of course unit

I

Not applicable

Optional


4.

Mode of delivery

Year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered

Language of instruction

lectures and seminars

2 semester

English


5.

Study requirements

Prerequisites:

Co-requisites:

Work placement(s):

interest in philosophy / basics in philosophy and political theory

none

Not applicable


7.

Number of ECTS credits allocated

Student's workload

Contact work hours and planned learning activities

Independent work hours

6

162

50

112


8.

Purpose of the course unit

This is an advanced course on the thought of one of the most influential and imaginative XX century Anglo-American political theorist – Alasdair MacIntyre. His philosophical career spans through a number of intellectual phases – from Marxism to anti-Marxism, from Barthian Christianity to secular Arsitotelianism, and from secular Aristotelianism to the foundational realism of Thomas Aquinas. The course aims to assess MacIntyre’s major conceptual development and philosophical influence across the fields of moral theory, political philosophy, social theory, epistemology, and theology. We will start from the discussion of his early Marxist writings, in particular “Notes from the Moral Wilderness” (1959) and Marxism and Christianity (1968). These early works will be presented in the light of his magnum opus After Virtue (1981). One of the underlying presuppositions of this course is to convey that MacIntyre’s gradual shift to Thomism has very little to do with any form of conservatism or communitarianism, as it is often misconceived by political theorists in the USA. The course will aim to present MacIntyre’s most recent philosophical work (Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1989), Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry (1990), Dependent Rational Animals (1999), God, Philosophy, Universities (2009)) as an authentic attempt to reconcile a Marxist critique of capitalism with an Aristotelian understanding of rationality and ethics. Finally, we will discuss the influence and most recent receptions of MacIntyre’s work.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Teaching and learning methods

Assessment methods

Comprehencive analysis of the political theory of Alasdair MacIntyre

lectures, seminars, in-class discussions

1-10 Ability to understand and analyse A. MacIntyre's work


9.

Course contens

Topics

Contact work hours and planned learning activities

Independent work hours and tasks

Tasks

Early MacIntyre: Marxism and Christianity

2

2

4

20

The issue of After Virtue: the critique of the Enlightenment and modernity; the positive philosophical project of constructing alternative moral theory.

10

6

16

20

Rationality, Human Good and Traditions

6

4

10

20

MacIntyre’s Thomism: the importance of Thomas Aquinas

6

4

10

20

MacIntyre’s political philosophy

6

4

10

32

Overall

30

20

50

 

112

 


10.

Assessment strategy

Weighting percentage

Period or date of assessment

Assessment criteria

Tasks performance in seminars

50

during the term

comprehention of MacIntyre's work, critical analysis and ability to provide good arguments

Examination

50

End of semester

comprehention of MacIntyre's texts