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The Critic: Alasdair MacIntyre

He furnishes them with cultural a cultural and moral ideal. Hence the demand is that in this type of case role and personality be fused. Social type and psychological type are required to coincide. The character morally legitimates a mode of social existence,” (MacIntyre, 1981: 29).

These stock characters, therefore, are really only the embodiment of a product of social construct. They are not independently moral reasoning beings in their stock roles. This is because they have to combine their social side with their psychological side in order to represent their stock role. However, this is not to say that these characters do not help us with moral or philosophical debate. This is because they are more like representations of social norms and ideologies, with which we can either choose to agree or take exception, “On the contrary it is partly because they provide focal points for disagreement that they are able to perform their defining task. Hence the morally defining character of the managerial role in our own culture is evidenced almost as much by the variety of contemporary attacks upon managerial and manipulative modes of theory and practice as it is by allegiance to them,” (MacIntyre, 1981: 31).

MacIntyre’s main contention regarding stock characters is that he shows how being a moral agent is independent of social role or actions. This is because for the stock characters they have fused their social and psychological personas. However, an individual who is a moral agent is so from within the self, independent of social roles or practices. Thus, a moral agent will stand back and objectively view every situation and every scenario from within, if he or she choose to be a true moral agent independent of any social norms or ideologies that already pre-exist, “To be a moral agent is, on this view, precisely to be able to stand back from any and every situation in which one is involved, from any and every ...

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The Critic: Alasdair MacIntyre. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:28, August 20, 2017, from
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