By Alasdair MacIntyre
"[I]t is anything to have a ebook, dedicated to sure really vital technical philosophical questions, that is prone to produce so passionate a response." —New York evaluate of Books
"A notable synthesis . . . ." —Richard Rorty
"A attractive new research of ethics. . . ." —Newsweek
"The top booklet of philosophy in years." —John Gardner
"To name this an exceptional e-book is to be patronizing; it really is a massive booklet, one who should be up or replied. it can be a good one, as are all turning issues in a tide of drama whose protagonists have idea their classes inexorable." —Choice, February 1982
When After Virtue first seemed in 1981, it was once well-known instantaneously as an important and most likely debatable critique of latest ethical philosophy. Now, in a brand new bankruptcy, Alasdair MacIntyre responds to the questions and concerns raised by way of the numerous admirers and critics who made After Virtue one of these extensively learn and mentioned paintings of philosophy. taking into consideration the discussion generated via his publication over the last 3 years, he elaborates his place at the dating of philosophy to historical past, the virtues and the problem of relativism, and the connection of ethical philosophy to theology. In doing so, MacIntyre sustains the claims of his significant conclusions to rational justification and demonstrates extra the responsibility of philosophy to the realm and instances it seeks to describe.
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For all attempts so far to identify the relevant types of feelings or attitudes have found it impossible to avoid an empty circularity. ‘Moral judgments express feelings or attitudes,’ it is said. ’ we ask. ‘Feelings or attitudes of approval,’ is the reply. ’ we ask, perhaps remarking that approval is of many kinds. It is in answer to this question that every version of emotivism either remains silent or, by identifying the relevant kind of approval as moral approval—that is, the type of approval expressed by a specifically moral judgment—becomes vacuously circular.
And I remain equally committed to the thesis that it is only from the standpoint of a very different tradition, one whose beliefs and presuppositions were articulated in their classical form by Aristotle, that we can understand both the genesis and the predicament of moral modernity. It is important to note that I am not claiming that Aristotelian moral theory is able to exhibit its rational superiority in terms that would be acceptable to the protagonists of the dominant postEnlightenment moral philosophies, so that in theoretical contests in the arenas of modernity, Aristotelians might be able to defeat Kantians, utilitarians, and contractarians.
Nor should blame attach for that conclusion to those friends and colleagues whose influence has been continuous for a number of years and to whom I am exceptionally indebted: Heinz Lubasz and Marx Wartofsky. Two of my colleagues at Boston University read large portions of my manuscript and made many helpful and illuminating suggestions. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Thomas McCarthy and Elizabeth Rapaport. Colleagues elsewhere to whom I am in debt in a variety of ways for similar suggestions are Marjorie Grene and Richard Rorty.