Alasdair MacIntyre and the Hope for a Politics of Virtuous Interdependence

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    Abstract

    Rebellion, philosophic and political, impels the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. Neither of the left nor the right, he treads a borderline path between conservatism and radicalism in holding to a socialist Thomistic Aristotelianism underpinned by a deliberative ‘ethic of care’ that is implacably opposed to modernity and the advanced capitalist nation-state. The depth of this opposition arouses strong opinions in friend and foe alike. To some he is an eminently dispensable reactionary whose sole consistent feature is an inexplicable ‘hatred of liberal individualism’ (Lessnoff 1999: 4). To others he appears a revolutionary enunciating a departure capable of legitimating the activities of ordinary persons so ‘that previously isolated struggles might be transformed into a new class war of attrition’ (Knight 1996: 896). However, neither interpretation rings true. MacIntyre does develop a cogent critique of the present, but this critique points in directions towards which no politics could hope to move.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-201
    Number of pages21
    JournalContemporary Political Theory
    Volume1 (2)
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002

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