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Jerry Mcguire Essay, Research Paper

Jerry McGuire

Nothing speaks to me more about this film than Alasdair MacIntyre s notion of moral practice. In the text book Performance versus Results : A Critique of Values in Contemporary Sport, there is a section entitled : The Monsters of Emotivism. In this chapter, it is stated that emotivism is the belief that all moral and ethical judgements are statements of preference, and no more than that. To say, this is good , is really to say, I think this is good, so should you. This assertion can be applied to the mission statement that Jerry McGuire wrote and distributed to his fellow sports agents at SMI.

The mission statement that Jerry McGuire wrote for his company said that they needed more personal attention for their clients. Fewer clients, less money but more personal attention. He wrote passionately about how the professional agents have become sharks for money, all the while, ignoring the needs of the athletes and their families. In essence, he took his personal feelings about an incident that occurred with a hockey players son, and rewrote the code for all his colleagues and expected them to accept his feelings and ideas. What Jerry McGuire was really saying was I think that this is good, and so should you. MacIntyre would say that Jerry was supporting his theory of emotivism in writing his misson statement.

MacIntyre said that in the pre – Enlightenment world, human life had a purpose, a telos . The telos of a man was to fulfill his role in society, that role ascribed to him at birth or ..through position. Ethics was the means by which man as he is could become the man as he could be if he realized his telos . This ideal was precisely stated by Dorothy, Jerry s then assistant, as she described why she loved him. She said that she loves him for the man that he wants to be…and for the man that he almost is. McGuire s self-worth was realized when he wrote that mission statement. It was then that he realized what it was that he wanted to do with his life and how his dreams could be realized. Even though, it could be argued that the events did not transpire quite as Jerry thought that they would, they changed his life for the better. Granted, Jerry got fired, and lost his financ , but on the same token, he gained so much more. He gained the love of a sincere woman and her son. He gained the respect from the professional sports business for picking up and continuing with his life. He gained the respect and friendship from the Tidwell family, and, in the end, the contract for Rod that they had been working so hard for. People began to see Jerry for the man that he described in his mission statement, and began to see the sense and nobility in it.

One might say that while Jerry McGuire was a sports agent, he was also a moral agent for the world of professional sports and agents alike. He paved the way for future agents and players alike, to make the decision for themselves as to which method they feel would best personify who they are as an athlete and as a person, but also, how they wish others to perceive them. MacIntyre uses the model of the moral agent as being detached from any social particularity, and passing judgment from a purely abstract and subjective point of view. Under this conception anyone and everyone can be a moral agent, since it is in the self, and not in the social roles or practices. Jerry followed his own path, and along with Dorothy, they made a life for themselves, both in the world of sports but in the realm of life itself and their positions in that world. The parallels that can be seen between the film Jerry McGuire, and MacIntyre s theory of emotivism are very clear. One must take control of one s own life without blaming or expecting results from anyone but oneself. MacIntyre states that the democratized self which has no necessary social identity, can be then anything, can assume any role, or take any point of view, because it is and for itself, nothing. Jerry McGuire s character did just that. He did not have a social identity, he assumed the role of a compassionate man, with true and meaningful feelings towards his clients. Jerry McGuire, looked within himself, and even for a brief moment, found his true, democratized self.


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