chapter  6
14 Pages

No Place to Hide for the Moral Self: Bureaucratic Individualism and the Fate of Ethics in Modernity

The fate of morality within the cultural and institutional structures of modernity has long been seen as a pressing problem. The dream of an entirely rational and transparent social order in which moral decisions would be absorbed into technical and scientific procedures has been a feature of modernist utopias that could not survive the horrors of the twentieth century. It is hardly surprising that in attempting to gain an understanding of the pathologies of modernity ethics and morality would have to be given careful consideration by social scientists. In what follows I want to compare and contrast the understandings of two of the central figures writing on the contemporary nature of morality in modern societies: Alasdair MacIntyre and Zygmunt Bauman.