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Alasdair MacIntyre

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Consider what kind of authority [can be ascribed to] any principle which it open to us to choose to regard as authoritative or not. I may choose for example to observe a regimen of asceticism and fasting ... for reasons of health ... What authority such principles possess derives from the reasons for my choice. Insofar as they are good reasons, the principles have corresponding authority; insofar as they are not, the principles are to that same extent deprived of authority. It would follow that a principle for the choice of which no reasons could be given would be a principle devoid of authority. I might indeed adopt such a principle from whim or caprice or from some arbitrary purpose ... but if I then chose to abandon the principle whenever it suited me, I would be entirely free to do so.
p. 42

Alasdair MacIntyre

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Owing to the vigorous and elastic strength of man’s original power, necessity does not often require anything save the removal of oppressive bonds. From all these reasons (to which a more detailed analysis of the subject might add many more) it will be seen, that there is no other principle than this so perfectly accordant with the reverence we owe to the individuality of spontaneous beings, and with the solicitude for freedom which that reverence inspires. Finally, the only infallible means of securing power and authority to laws, is to see that they originate in this principle alone.

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There are three principles in a man's being and life, the principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say.

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I wish to guard the Principle of Vision from certain misconceptions which might arise on a simple statement of it. The principle insists on the artist assuring himself that he distinctly sees what he attempts to represent. What he sees, and how he represents it, depend on other principles. To make even this principle of Vision thoroughly intelligible in its application to all forms of Literature and Art, it must be considered in connection with the two other principles — Sincerity and Beauty, which are involved in all successful works.

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