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After Virtue

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Highly controversial when it was first published in 1981, Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue has since established itself as a landmark work in contemporary moral philosophy. In this book, MacIntyre sought to address a crisis in moral language that he traced back to a European Enlightenment that had made the formulation of moral principles increasingly difficult. In the search for a way out of this impasse, MacIntyre returns to an earlier strand of ethical thinking, that of Aristotle, who emphasised the importance of 'virtue' to the ethical life.More than thirty years after its original publication, After Virtue remains a work that is impossible to ignore for anyone interested in our understanding of ethics and morality today.

Author: Macintyre Alasdair
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9781780936253
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2014

Prologue to the Third Edition


1. A Disquieting Suggestion

2. The Nature of Moral Agreement Today and the Claims of Emotivism

3. Emotivism: Social Content and Social Context

4. The Predecessor Culture and the Enlightenment Project of Justifying Morality

5. Why the Enlightenment Project of Justifying Morality Had to Fail

6. Some Consequences of the Failure of the Enlightenment Project

7. 'Fact', Explanation and Expertise

8. The Character of Generalizations in Social Science and their Lack of Predictive Power

9. Nietzsche or Aristotle?

10. The Virtues in Heroic Societies

11. The Virtues at Athens

12. Aristotle's Account of the Virtues

13. Medieval Aspects and Occasions

14. The Nature of the Virtues

15. The Virtues, The Unity of a Human Life and the Concept of a Tradition

16. From the Virtues to Virtue and After Virtue

17. Justice as a Virtue: Changing Conceptions

18. After Virtue: Nietzsche or Aristotle, Trotsky and St Benedict

19. Postscript



Alasdair MacIntyre is Senior Research Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame. He is the author of several bestselling books, including After Virtue, Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, and A Short History of Ethics (a Routledge Classic).

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