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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 powers of moral agency can only be exercised by those who are able to justify rational confidence in their judgments about the goodness and badness of human beings and this ability requires participation in social relationships and in types of activity in which one’s reflective judgments emerge from systematic dialogue with others and are subject to critical scrutiny by others. Without milieus within which such relationships and activities are effectively sustained the possibility of the exercise of the powers of moral agency will be undermined. Those who participate in the relationships and activities of such milieus will always find themselves in potential conflict with, and often in actual conflict with, the requirements of established role structures and therefore with those who uphold those requirements. And it is in part by defining their relationship to those conflicts that they give content to what the virtues require of them in this or that particular situation. Moreover it is only in and through such milieus that moral agents become able to understand themselves as accountable to others in respect of the human virtues and not just in respect of their role-performances. (p.196)


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


Ethics and Politics, 2 Vols

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