For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Ethics and Politics: Selected Essays, Volume 2

by MacIntyre, Alasdair (2006)


Alasdair MacIntyre is one of the most creative and important philosophers working today. This volume presents a selection of his classic essays on ethics and politics collected together for the first time, focussing particularly on the themes of moral disagreement, moral dilemmas, and truthfulness and its importance. The essays range widely in scope, from Aristotle and Aquinas and what we need to learn from them, to our contemporary economic and social structures and the threat which they pose to the realization of the forms of ethical life. They will appeal to a wide range of readers across philosophy and especially in moral philosophy, political philosophy, and theology.

Key Passage

The thinking that is needed is practical thinking, thinking that may occasionally be driven to extend its resources by opening up theoretical questions, but even then always for the sake of practice. The milieus in which such thinking is at home are, as I have already said, those of everyday practice, of the everyday life of certain kinds of family and household, of certain kinds of workplace, of certain kinds of school and church, and of a variety of kinds of local community. And what their flourishing will always be apt to generate is tension, tension that may develop into conflict between the requirements of the established social and moral order and the attitudes of those educated in those social settings that make the exercise of the powers of moral agency possible. So to be a moral agent is to have the potentiality for living and acting in a state of tension or, if need be, conflict between two moral points of view. And this is never simply or mainly a tension or a conflict between points of view at the level of abstract and general theory. It is always primarily a tension or a conflict between socially embodied points of view, between modes of practice. (p.193)


Macintyre, Aristotle, Aquinas, Telos, Marxism, Moral Disagreement, Moral Philosophy, Ethics, Free Markets, Enlightenment


Ethics and Politics, 2 Vols

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