Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Virtues of Alasdair MacIntyre

First Things (October 2007).

The Virtues of Alasdair MacIntyre
by Stanley Hauerwas
October 2007

Few dispute that Alasdair MacIntyre is one of the most important philosophers of our time. That reputation, however, does him little good. It is as though, quite apart from the man, there exists a figure called Alasdair MacIntyre whose position you know whether or not you have read him—and whose name has become a specter that haunts all attempts to provide constructive moral and political responses to the challenge of modernity.

The curious result is that MacIntyre’s work is often dismissed as too extreme to be taken seriously. In fact, MacIntyre’s work is extreme, but we live in extreme times. And though he is certainly critical of some of the developments associated with modernity, Alasdair MacIntyre is also a constructive thinker who has sought to help us repair our lives by locating those forms of life that make possible moral excellence.

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