Alasdair MacIntyre Quotes

Enjoy the top 63 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Alasdair MacIntyre.

Alasdair MacIntyre Quotes

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

To have understood the polymorphous character of pleasure and happiness is of course to have rendered those concepts useless for utilitarian purposes; if the prospect of his or her own future pleasure or happiness cannot for reasons which I have suggested provide criteria for solving the problems of action in the case of each individual, it follows that the notion of the greatest happiness of the greatest number is a notion without any clear content at all. It is indeed a pseudo-concept available for a variety of ideological uses, but no more than that.

— Alasdair MacIntyre

There is no way to understand the character of the taboo rules, except as a survival from some previous more elaborate cultural background. We know also and as a consequence that any theory which makes the taboo rules ... intelligible just as they are without any reference to their history is necessarily a false theory ... why should we think about [the theories of] analytic moral philosophers such as Moore, Ross, Prichard, Stevenson, Hare and the rest in any different way? ... Why should we think about our modern use of good, right and obligatory in any different way from that in which we think about late eighteenth-century Polynesian uses of taboo?

— Alasdair MacIntyre

If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached that turning point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us.

— Alasdair MacIntyre

J.B. Bury once followed Pascal in suggesting that the cause of the foundation of the Roman Empire was the length of Cleopatra's nose: had her features not been perfectly proportioned, Mark Antony would not have been entranced; had he not been entranced he would not have allied himself with Egypt against Octavian; had he not made that alliance, the battle of Actium would not have been fought-and so on.

— Alasdair MacIntyre

Modern conservatives are for the most part engaged in conserving only older rather than later versions of liberal individualism. Their own core doctrine is as liberal and as individualist as that of self-avowed liberals.

— Alasdair MacIntyre

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

— Alasdair MacIntyre

[M]odern society is indeed often, at least in surface appearance, nothing but a collection of strangers, each pursuing his or her own interests under minimal constraints.

— Alasdair MacIntyre

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