Peter McMylor

MacIntyre’s Critique of the Performative Legitimation of Capitalist Modernity

Abstract: This paper sets out to explore the work of the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre in relation to his profound criticisms of the social and economic order of modern capitalist modernity. The paper begins by setting his broad intellectual trajectory within the context of the emergence of the British New Left in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It highlights the continuing significance of some of the key themes explored by the New Left throughout all of MacIntyre’s work and especially regarding his latest work Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity published in 2016. The paper attempts to bring out the significant role that MacIntyre gives to sociological analysis within his account of modernity and notes the importance of such analysis within what otherwise appears to be his purely philosophical approach and points towards MacIntyre’s work being a form of moral philosophy rooted in social practices that is especially congenial to sociology.