Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Problem of Meta-ethics

Is it possible to infer values about what we ought to do from facts about how the world is? This question introduces a major problem within meta-ethics, which is how to philosophically justify ethical obligations. In my recent interview with Dr. Phillip Cary, we learn how these difficulties in meta-ethics arose out of the political, philosophical, and scientific context of the 17th and 18th centuries. Building on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, Cary suggests that we have been left with the fragments of a once coherent tradition. The rise of Postmodernism offers a unique opportunity to return to this earlier tradition, and to recover a context in which discussion of virtues make sense.