For Work / Against Work
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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

...if in a policy meeting of the Midwestern power executives one of them had proposed attempting to bring about an overall reduction in power consumption, or if at a social gathering someone were to insist that the standards of truthfulness required in scientific reports should also apply to party gossip, their remarks might be treated as a joke or ignored, but, if such a speaker persisted, they would find themselves deprived at least temporarily of their status in that sphere of activity, treated, that is, as a source of embarrassing background noise rather than a participant. And the effects of insulation are reinforced by the absence from everyday life of milieus in the home, the workplace, and elsewhere in which such agents might engage in extended critical reflection with others about, for example, what conflicts the virtue of truthfulness requires us to engage in and just how its requirements are at odds with the established ethics of deception in each sphere of activity or about what the significance of death is. Such milieus would provide agents with what they otherwise lack, an understanding of themselves as having a substantive identity independent of their roles and as having responsibilities that do not derive from those roles, so overcoming divisions within the self imposed by compartmentalization and so setting the scene for types of conflict that compartmentalization effectively suppresses. (p.199)


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


Ethics and Politics, 2 Vols

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