Fragments

A Miscellany of Study

Category: Kelvin Knight

Our Only Shared Morality

What is made true by this ideological success — as well as by ‘power and money’ — is not participative citizens collectively ruling themselves but subjects attributing ‘democracy’ to the state, accepting that they are morally obliged to obey its commands and, even, to participating in its electoral rituals.  Indeed, so successful has been contemporary liberalism that the idea of the good is now widely regarded as private and merely subjective whilst that of right has been detached from it and identified with the law enforced by the state, justice being equated with adherence to the state’s procedures.  Our only shared morality is that of acquiescent obedience to power, and what the powerful tells us to fear is any appeal to first principles or final ends.  A more insidiously demoralizing ideology of passivity and manipulation is hard to imagine. (176)

Kelvin Knight | Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre

Preferential Option

It is with those whose actions are most immediately and constantly constrained by material need who most keenly understand self-estrangement and desire its end, and it is those who labour who are likely to have most insight into how best to reform society. (108)

Kelvin Knight | Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre

What Morality is Not

Morality is not something to be separated from sensuous reality and then theorized a priori in some pure, idealized form.  It is not something that individuals, as social beings, can or should autonomously impose on their own practice in consistent defiance of social relations and pressures.  Nor is it something that they should seek to impose upon themselves in resistance to their own desires. (105)

Kelvin Knight | Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre