Alasdair Macintyre Quotes

Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre (born 12 January 1929) is a Scottish philosopher primarily known for his contribution to moral and political philosophy but also known for his work in history of philosophy and theology. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics (CASEP) at London Metropolitan University, and an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. During his lengthy academic career, he also taught at Brandeis University, Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and Boston University. MacIntyre's After Virtue (1981) is widely recognised as one of the most important works of Anglophone moral and political philosophy in the 20th century

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Alasdair Macintyre


Charles II once invited the members of the Royal Society to explain to him why a dead fish weighs more than the same fish alive; a number of subtle explanations were offered to him. He then pointed out that it does not.

Alasdair Macintyre


We are waiting not for a Godot but for another-doubtless very different-St. Benedict,

Alasdair Macintyre


Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means.

Alasdair Macintyre


I have confronted theoretical positions whose protagonists claim that what I take to be historically produced characteristics of what is specifically modern are in fact the timelessly necessary characteristics of all and any moral judgment, of all and any selfhood.

Alasdair Macintyre


Raymond Aron ascribes to Weber the view that 'each man's conscience is irrefutable.' ... while [Weber] holds that an agent may be more or less rational in acting consistently with his values, the choice of any one particular evaluative stance or commitment can be no more rational than any other. All faiths and all evaluations are equally non-rational...

Alasdair Macintyre


Christians have given atheists less and less in which to disbelieve

Alasdair Macintyre


Virtues are dispositions not only to act in particular ways, but also to feel in particular ways. To act virtuously is not, as Kant was later to think, to act against inclination; it is to act from inclination formed by the cultivation of the virtues.

Alasdair Macintyre


At the foundation of moral thinking lie beliefs in statements the truth of which no further reason can be given.

Alasdair Macintyre


The way to bring out the best in the British people is to attack them.

Alasdair Macintyre


What this brings out is that modern politics cannot be a matter of genuine moral consensus. And it is not. Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means,

Alasdair Macintyre


Imprisoning philosophy within the professionalizations and specializations of an institutionalized curriculum, after the manner of our contemporary European and North American culture, is arguably a good deal more effective in neutralizing its effects than either religious censorship or political terror

Alasdair Macintyre


Facts, like telescopes and wigs for gentlemen, were a seventeenth century invention.

Alasdair Macintyre


Morality which is no particular socity's morality is to be found nowhere.

Alasdair Macintyre


Modern systematic politics, whether liberal, conservative, radical, or socialist, simply has to be rejected from a standpoint that owes genuine allegiance to the tradition of the virtues; for modern politics itself expresses in its institutional forms a systematic rejection of that tradition

Alasdair Macintyre


History is neither a prison nor a museum, nor is it a set of materials for self-congratulation.

Alasdair Macintyre