- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (30 Mar. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0268035040
- ISBN-13: 978-0268035044
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory Paperback – 30 Mar 2007
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""After Virtue" is a striking work. It is clearly written and readable. The nonprofessional will find MacIntyre perspicuous and lively. He stands within the best modern traditions of writing on such matters." --"New York Review of Books"
""After Virtue" is a rigorous, ambitious, and original book. It is a reinterpretation of the entire history of Western moral philosophy, as decline, fall, and--possibly--rebirth." "--The Village Voice"
"After Virtue" is a striking work. It is clearly written and readable. The nonprofessional will find MacIntyre perspicuous and lively. He stands within the best modern traditions of writing on such matters. "New York Review of Books""
MacIntyre s arguments deserve to be taken seriously by anybody who thinks that the mere acceptance of pluralism is not the same thing as democracy, who worries about politicians wishing to give opinions about everything under the sun, and who stops to think of how important Aristotelian ethics have been for centuries. "The Economist""
"After Virtue" is a rigorous, ambitious, and original book. It is a reinterpretation of the entire history of Western moral philosophy, as decline, fall, and possibly rebirth. " The Village Voice""
"After Virtue is a striking work. It is clearly written and readable. The nonprofessional will find MacIntyre perspicuous and lively. He stands within the best modern traditions of writing on such matters." --New York Review of Books
"MacIntyre's arguments deserve to be taken seriously by anybody who thinks that the mere acceptance of pluralism is not the same thing as democracy, who worries about politicians wishing to give opinions about everything under the sun, and who stops to think of how important Aristotelian ethics have been for centuries." --The Economist
"After Virtue is a rigorous, ambitious, and original book. It is a reinterpretation of the entire history of Western moral philosophy, as decline, fall, and--possibly--rebirth." --The Village Voice
About the Author
ALASDAIR MacINTYRE is research professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of numerous books, including Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (University of Notre Dame Press, 1988) and Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition (University of Notre Dame Press, 1990).
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Top Customer Reviews
Reading 'After Virtue' reminded me of a recent memorial service for the father of a family friend, who'd died having developed dementia. Recalling his father's mental deterioration, the son said 'He could still hold a long discussion with me about philosophy, but he hadn't a clue who I was'.
This 1981 book by MacIntyre depicts contemporary moral debates and disagreements as shrill, emotive, interminable, weighing incommensurables, characterised by assertion and counter-assertion, and arguments within ourselves. Fragments, eclectic mélange. Sounds demented?
MacIntyre looks back past the philosophy of the Enlightenment to root his teleological view of man and the good in the thinking of Aristotle, and latterly that of Thomas Aquinas. In doing this, he makes a lot of sense. MacIntyre is a Roman Catholic. In a talk filmed at Notre Dame University he's equally sceptical of government and markets, liberals and conservatives (public intellectuals and advertising executives).
For a flavour of this fine man's thinking and disposition, that and several other talks can be found by searching the internet.
Much of the first half of the volume is given over to elaborating MacIntyre's theory that the history of philosophy took a wrong turn with what he calls the `enlightenment experiment'. It is not until the fourteenth of the book's nineteen chapters that he finally starts to build the foundations of his own case, constructed on the support of the Aristotelian tradition. He declares liberal individualism to be at odds with this tradition, hence his argument's need for diversions into matters of `fact', `predictability', and `ideology'. The book's final paragraph contains warnings about "the new dark ages which are already upon us ... This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament."
It is simply not possible for me to give a full review of this book in the limited space available.Read more ›
"After Virtue" is a sophisticated work of moral philosophy, historical criticism, and much else besides, and I readily admit that I haven't assimilated all its arguments.
At the same time, MacIntyre strikes the reader as a highly eclectic thinker, and this is what makes you wonder whether he has a point (everyone who rejects the current political scene en toto will bee seen as quaint or indeed eclectic - no matter whether he's right or wrong), or whether he is simply a confused intellectual stitching together what really can't be united. Indeed, one of the chapters of the book is titled "Nietzsche *or* Aristotle? Trotsky *and* St. Benedict". Benedict and...who? I also noticed that some of MacIntyre's followers call themselves revolutionary Aristotelians!
I don't think any review can give this book its due, so here I will only attempt the barest outline. MacIntyre is usually considered left-wing, and he does indeed criticize slavery, the subordination of women, and racism. He also has a soft spot for some Marxists, including Trotsky, whom he seems to regard as a closet critic of dogmatic Marxism. MacIntyre also rejects liberal capitalism, individualism and postmodernism. But in the name of what? After converting to Roman Catholicism, MacIntyre began to see the philosophy of Aristotle as a positive alternative, and some years after writing "After Virtue" he also embraced Thomism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
although parts of it are a bit dull and superfluous, MacIntyre has many flashes of brilliance and perceptive insights that make this important reading.Published 11 months ago by Tim
Excellent analysis of present-day morality in the word and pointers towards positive solutions offeredPublished 23 months ago by OOC
This arrived swiftly, but is an old library book and quite worn. I only wish it for functional purposes however, so this isn't too much of a problem.Published on 10 Nov. 2014 by Flane
The book is rightly famous, and well written although I found it tended to wander a bit at times.
McIntyre's thesis is that the Enlightenment project has gone badly wrong -... Read more
By no means an easy read, but a book which repays careful thought and study. Unusually for a modern philosopher, MacIntyre writes interestingly about ethics - how shall we live our... Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2010 by John Fletcher
Though very difficult to read, definitely worth it. Take your time and read it twice.Published on 28 Oct. 2010 by Martine
An excellent re statement and revision of moral framework which focuses on the Aristotelean "good life" and how our growth as individuals and in communities and groups takes us... Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2010 by DH