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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

17 - Alasdair MacIntyre on political thinking and the tasks of politics

This chapter traces the evolution of Alasdair MacIntyre's political thinking and outlines the position that he has held since the late 1980s. It offers a brief evaluation of MacIntyre's contribution to political thinking. MacIntyre regards the contemporary nation-state as the embodiment and protector of capitalism, liberalism, and individualism. Its politics is a sham politics, because the processes of voting and elections only appear to allow the electors a free choice of their representatives, a free choice among policies. The most basic categories of MacIntyre's political thinking is embedded in the Aristotelian ethics, the ethics are practices, the goods internal to practices, and the virtues necessary to sustain practices. MacIntyre's political thinking is thus Aristotelian in its focus on the achievement of goods specified by a shared human nature, especially on the achievement of genuinely common human goods.
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Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
  • Online ISBN: 9781139028530
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Suggestions for further reading
A fuller study is Kelvin KnightA Revolutionary AristotelianismAristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyreCambridgePolity 2007
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