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Publisher's Summary

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 15 foreign languages and has sold over 100,000 copies. Now, 25 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."

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about After Virtue, Third Edition

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A Philosopher is a Philosopher

I had hoped that Dr. Maclintyre would with some dogmatism, bring into sharper relief the differences between modern notions of virtue, and those held by Aristotle. And of course this would by necessity, include those Aristotelians who adhered to Aristotle's philosophy. Unfortunately, I was offered a more softened, and restrained comparison.

This treatise is written by a philosopher, and it is a superb philosophic book. Nevertheless, I am not a philosopher, and do not aspire to be one. At this point though, I want to unhesitatingly commend Derek Perkins for his excellent work in his narration of After Virtue. He made my overall experience with this audiobook very pleasant!

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good philosophy

I heard about this book from the Great Courses history of Western philosophy. Was a great follow up to that and the narration is fantastic for the genre. Thought-provoking and perspective-altering ideas in here that make a whole lot of intuitive sense. Will be seeking out more like this!

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An essential and groundbreaking work of moral philosophy

MacIntyre’s work is a magnificent one and essential to anyone who cares to speak meaningfully with moral language.

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Well performed reading of 20th cent. classic

Alastair MacIntyre's After Virtue is by now a classic of 20th-century philosophical literature, which has the rare accomplishment of having attracted the interest of analytic philosophers, continental philosophers and social scientists, as well as Thomists and historians of medieval and ancient philosophy. As MacIntyre wrote in his introduction, this book was written while he was an Aristotelian, but not yet a Thomist.

The central argument of the book is that modern culture and philosophy has lost the capacity for moral reasoning ever since having abandoned Aristotle's "metaphysical biology" and the Christian conception of a human telos or end. Without teleology, any attempt at moral reasoning based exclusively on so-called moral rules and the facts about human nature as it is will ultimately fail to meet its own standards, and the history of modern moral philosophy is a history of such failures. Each new moral philosophy, MacIntyre believes, disguises a mere appeal to personal preference hidden beneath a moral myth, like that of managerial efficiency, utility, human rights, or non-natural properties.

This audiobook edition is terrific. For one, since it is of the third edition of MacIntyre's work, it includes several helpful essays forewords and afterwords by MacInerny reflecting on his book and criticisms of it. The reader of the audiobook, Derek Perkins, is one of the best on Audible. While I am not expert enough to say whether he pronounced everything correctly in the many languages he was forced to pronounce, nothing jumped out at me as obviously wrong (unlike many philosophy books on Audible), and, to my American ear, he makes his foreign-language utterances sound natural.

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Greatest of moral philosophy

This is one of the best moral philosophy books I have read. I’m especially impressed with the historical treatment showing the modern fracturing of the human self that predicates the landscape of competing moral theories.

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Antique Philosophy Doesn't Work...

It's dead. Leave Aristotle and Thomas buried already. This guy has no clue how poorly he grasps contemporary philosophy of language or contemporary discussions of truth or modern science or... It isn't possible to pick a single problem. They are all so terribly obvious. It pays to live in the past, if you want to forgo work and simply introspect. You can even invent whole sociological theories without any data. Amazing.

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Dense

Dense read. A little hard to follow on the audio version at points. But an important defense of virtue ethics. Seems to stop just when it starts to get good in the last chapter.

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  • David
  • 02-10-21

Finally got round to 'reading' this!

Strongly suspect my entire degree course was based on this book but only just got around to 'reading' it cover to cover. I may be biased by my education(!) but it's a massively important work in ethics and a must read for anyone struggling to reconcile the range of ethical theories in the post-enlightenment world. I still don't fully understand his arguments against Kiekegaard, but the book raises massive issues that most modern ethicists would probably prefer to ignore. Some of the pronunciations in the reading are iffy. Took me ages to realise that Go-worth was Goethe!

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  • David Mossley
  • 10-07-18

A truly great (though flawed) work in philosophy

A great work, from an intellectual giant. You don't have to agree with MacIntyre's whole package of conclusions to find this a superb study of the history of moral thought, virtue ethics and parlous state of modern moral discourse. Perfectly and clearly narrated.

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  • J. Jong
  • 03-29-20

A magisterial book read well

After Virtue is not an easy book, even for philosophers. This is partly because because of its conceptual and methodological range, but also because MacIntyre, though always clear, is not shy of subordinate clauses. Perkins ought to be commended then for readings at a pace that makes AV more digestible. I shall be looking out for more books read by him.

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  • Timo Berg
  • 03-07-22

incredibly lucid philo/historical argunent

MacIntyre's clear, lucid, and nuanced elucidation of the contemporary West's moral and ideological malaise is over forty years old now. But it has aged well, and MacIntyre's concern for the incommensurable premises of the West's moral dialogues feels more urgent in the 'post-truth' political age than ever.

The narrator's unhurried, precise delivery is the perfect counterpoint to MacIntyre's clear, but never cold, prose style.

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  • lewis
  • 06-12-19

A masterpiece of ethics and read excellently.

MacIntyre's work is a must read for those who seek to understand ethics in a world where subjectivism and nihilism have all but conquered. After virtue is a torch in the dark, showing us the path back to Aristotelian concepts long alienated by the enlightenment, modernity and post-modernity.

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  • Joshua Riis
  • 06-04-21

saved my life

that's all I have to say really,


really I endorsw and recommend it to everyone.