When After Virtue first appeared in 1981, it was recognized as a significant and potentially controversial critique of contemporary moral philosophy. Since that time, the book has been translated into more than fifteen foreign languages and has sold over one hundred thousand copies. Now, twenty-five years later, the University of Notre Dame Press is pleased to release the third edition of After Virtue, which includes a new prologue: “After Virtue after a Quarter of a Century.”
In this classic work, Alasdair MacIntyre examines the historical and conceptual roots of the idea of virtue, diagnoses the reasons for its absence in personal and public life, and offers a tentative proposal for its recovery. While the individual chapters are wide-ranging, once pieced together they comprise a penetrating and focused argument about the price of modernity. In the third edition’s prologue, MacIntyre revisits the central theses of the book and concludes that, although he has learned a great deal and has supplemented and refined his theses and arguments in other works, he has “as yet found no reason for abandoning the major contentions” of this book. While he recognizes that his conception of human beings as virtuous or vicious needed not only a metaphysical but also a biological grounding, ultimately he remains “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.”
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“MacIntyre’s arguments deserve to be taken seriously by anybody who thinks that the mere acceptance of pluralism is not the same thing as democracy, who worries about politicians wishing to give opinions about everything under the sun, and who stops to think of how important Aristotelian ethics have been for centuries.”
“A stunning new study of ethics by one of the foremost moral philosophers in the English-speaking world.”
“After Virtue is a striking work. It is clearly written and readable. The nonprofessional will find MacIntyre perspicuous and lively. He stands within the best modern traditions of writing on such matters.”
— New York Review of Books
After Virtue, Third Edition Listener Reviews
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About Alasdair MacIntyre
Alasdair MacIntyre retired from teaching in 2010 and is now an emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and a permanent senior distinguished research fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. During his lengthy academic career, he also taught at Brandeis University, Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and Boston University. He is the author of the award-winning After Virtue. His other publications include two volumes of essays and numerous books, including Whose Justice? Which Rationality? and Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition.
About Derek Perkins
Derek Perkins is a professional narrator and voice actor. He has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, as well as numerous Society of Voice Arts nominations. AudioFile magazine named him a Best Voice consecutively in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Augmented by a knowledge of three foreign languages and a facility with accents, he has narrated numerous titles in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres.