49 pages 1 hour read

Alasdair MacIntyre

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1981

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Index of Terms


Bureaucracy/technocracy is the rule of society by technical experts, described by MacIntyre as one of the major “character types” of modern society. According to MacIntyre, bureaucratic expertise includes two major elements: an “aspiration to value neutrality” and a “claim to manipulative power” (86).


Consequentialism is a system of ethics in which the consequences of moral choices are central. It is characteristic of utilitarianism as opposed to virtue ethics, and is discussed in this light by MacIntyre.


The contest (or agon in Greek) was a concept central to life in classical Greek society, embodying the idea of competition and struggle to achieve some good or goal. It was operative in such spheres of life as the Olympic games, political campaigns, philosophical inquiry, and the theater. For MacIntyre, the idea of agon is tied in with the idea of life as narrative.

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