This is part of an article I wrote a while ago. I am posting it as background to my blog post “Radical Orthodoxy’s Fatal Flaw”.  It is not written in blog format but for anyone who is interested, I wanted to put it out there. 


In After Virtue Alasdair MacIntyre puts forward a strong critique of moral philosophy and an even stronger proposal of a way forward by reclaiming the ancient Aristotelian formation proposed in the formation of virtue. MacIntyre says that we have “largely, if not entirely – lost our comprehension, both theoretical and practical, of morality.”[1] His critique of modern analytical philosophy surpasses, initially, any address of the ‘right’ or the ‘good’ or even ‘justice’, instead focusing on the meaningless of those terms in the current context of philosophical address.

MacIntyre illustrates the futility of such debates but outlining the problem on three levels: First is that we have no “rational way of weighing the claims of one (argument) against another”. [2] Second, the arguments “purport to be impersonal rational arguments” that complicate “moral excellence and argument”.[3] Third, each disagreement has its own historical situation and “cannot be resolved, because no moral disagreements of that kind in any age, past, present, or future, can be resolved.”[4] This triangle limits the possibility that modern western philosophy can address any moral discrepancy. As MacIntyre has pointed out earlier:

What we posses … are the fragments of a conceptual scheme, parts that now lack those contexts from which their significance derived. We possess indeed simulacra of morality; we continue to use many of the key expressions. But we have – very largely, if not entirely – lost our comprehension, both theoretical and practical, of morality.[5]

In response to this fragmented framework MacIntyre chooses instead to reclaim a notion of Aristotle’s approach to the formation of virtuous character within the context of community (polis).[6]  If within these communities character is formed by the “enacted narratives”[7] that allow the self to be formed and ones identity to emerge within the continuity (or discontinuity) of the self that is provided by a greater environment. According to MacIntyre “the self inhabits a character whose unity is given as the unity of a character.”[8] This happens within an embedded or situated environment in which a narrative may be lived out.

This stands in contrast to the deontological approach of those who look to Kant as well as the utilitarian approach made famous by John Stuart Mills and followed by Max Weber (who will be addressed in greater depth later in this paper). MacIntyre posits a teleological approach that looks to Aristotle for its framework. Both the Kantian and the utilitarian approach were doomed in MacIntyre’s opinion because they utilized an Enlightenment conception of morality of the self and were duly incoherent in their use of such language.  The Kantian (deontological) perspective looks to the concept of duty and intrinsic values to determine those courses of action that satisfy the injunction to observe some set of external notion of good. The utilitarian approach focused on behaviors that brought about the desired ends and the necessary means to accomplish them. Both schools fall short of MacIntyre’s concern to bring about the formation of virtuous character within the individual within their situated community. As Stanley Hauerwas states it:

Aristotle provided MacIntyre with an account of why our actions require a conception of an end as well as the social and political conditions necessary to sustain a life formed by the virtues constitutive of that end that is simple lacking in modern moral practice and theory.[9]

It is this formation within community that provides MacIntyre’s Aristotelian move. We are to imagine a community where a set of precepts is conceptualized as the virtues without which the good and the common life of the community cannot manifest. The telos can be conceived of as a narrative framework that a community embraces and employs, not as an end or merely for the result, but which embodies its values and brings about the good insofar as the community lives into the narrative. This is compatible with Dewey’s view of democracy (to be handled later in the paper) as more than simple majority rule but instead a “mode of associated living”[10] where individuals share responsibility in “forming and directing the activities of the group”[11] as they are in “harmony with the interest and good”[12] which the group shares in common.  Talisse sees this as a requirement of members “to embody a certain set of habits which both reflect common interests and enable individuals to act for the sake of the common good.”[13] This expectation allows the members to both be formed by virtuous expectation and to participate in bringing about those values of which the community has cultivated. The competencies are brought about by conditions embraced by the community and within which the individual has been formed by to participate in.

In his prologue to the 3rd edition of After Virtue, written on the 25th anniversary of publication, MacIntyre (sounding like Dewey) says that it is within “acts of imagination and questioning”[14] that members or a group would be able to navigate the difficulties of a situation or decision where there is disagreement with another group. Since there are no “neutral standards” available by which to judge the adequacies of any claim to truth, a rational agent my be able to determine a course of action and bring about a resolution where there is no clear standard by which to evaluate the superiority of one tradition over another. An awareness of our cultural chaos is vital. Hauerwas points out that we live in a ‘precarious’ moment:

Life in a world of moral fragments is always on the edge of violence, since there are no means to ensure that moral arguments in itself cans resolve our moral conflicts.”[15]

He goes on to say that it is little wonder we “hunger for absolutes in such a world” [16] that robs us of sense of self or security that we have. The individual as a rational agent, the unencumbered self, and free actor are all illusions outside of a radically situated history and story of formation and participation.


Decline and Fall

The picture that has been painted thus far is at best tenuous and at worst dire.  It would be unwise to proceed without asking the question “are we indeed in as great a predicament as MacIntyre believes that we are?” Is the situation as dire as has been presented? Are we morally and ethically in as a deep a quagmire as MacIntyre believes us to be? One needs look no farther than Hipsters and the Occupy movement to see the depths that we are in.

Rawls acknowledged (as does Sandel) that there is not only conflict over the Big Questions (as Talisse states it) in our political discourse but a suspect configuration of the moral questions and issues of power as to call into question whether they “constitute a consistent set.”  In fact, Rawls goes as far as to say despite “our conscious attempt to reason with each other”[17], that agreement is allusive and may only be reached though “oppression.”[18] This fractured and contentious societal situation is inflamed by (at least) three cultural elements: consumerism, globalization, and pluralism. The first is the disposition of individuals within a society, the second impacts the proximity of different communities, and the third affects the posture when approaching a disparate series of relationship for communities.

Consumerism is hyperbolized in an examination of Hipster ‘culture’ by Douglas Haddow entitled “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization”.[19] Haddow provides a vicious critique when he says:

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.[20]


It this both the dislocation of generational continuity and the isolation of consumerist aesthetics that are troubling about the brand obsessed and all too self-aware ironic sensibilities that alert one to the incredible disenchantment and disassociation of the youth culture. It is these very same consumerist influences and institutions that give rise to their embodied expression and vague angst that manifests in such irresponsible yet elaborate demonstrations of the Hipster’s intentionally senseless displays.

Perhaps more appropriate is Simon Critchley’s recent address of the separation of the people (in politics) and power.  Critchley borrows a powerful metaphor from Anglo-Polish social theorist Zygmunt Bauman set in an abandoned airplane with nothing but a previously recorded message to calm passengers fears. Critchley looks to this as the source of our current societal anxiety. Inherently we know that “ no one is in control: no God, no glorious leader, no benevolent dictator, nothing and no one. It’s even worse than the fantasy behind the Wizard of Oz and the Emperor’s New Clothes. There’s no wizard and no emperor.”[21] This feeling of quicksand is the erosion of knowing where our power has gone, knowing how things work and feeling as if power was actually possible with the people for which so many platitudes were lifted. Critchley points to this separation of the people from power, or over the knowledge of such power and how it is invested in the institutions of authority, that lands us in our current cultural malaise and constitutional quagmire.[22]

The reality of the contemporary societal movement is one of escalating and nearly indecipherable chaos, incommensurable solutions and seemingly incoherent voices all competing with no organized framework or agreed upon arena for putting forward any meaningful resolutions or even compromises. We see this in the religious, philosophical, moral, educational, political and economic spheres. It does appear that MacIntyre’s concern is justified and his analysis is rational.


No Culture is an Island


In chapter 9 of After Virtue, MacIntyre goes after the relatively unintelligible vocabulary in our modern situation that is nothing more than a series of remnants and fractured remainders from past systems and moral frameworks.

A key part of my thesis has been that modern moral utterance and practice can only be understood as a series of fragmented survivals from an older past and that the insoluble problems which they have generated for modern moral theorists will remain insoluble until this is well understood. What we need here is not only a philosophical acuteness but also the kind of vision which anthropologists at their best bring to the observation of other cultures, enabling them to identify survivals and unintelligibilities unperceived by those who inhabit those cultures.[23]


MacIntyre reinforces this foreignness motif by relaying a story from Captain Cook’s third voyage where he and his men landed on the Hawaiian Islands where they observed both sexual practices they found objectionable and gender segregation that they found perplexing. When they inquired as to why women did not eat the men, it was explained that this was taboo. The native word can also be translated ‘forbidden’. The perplexing development was when the Hawaiians could not explain why this practice was forbidden. MacIntyre points to this as an example of using a word that they did not understand that propped up practice they could not explain which was a remnant of a bygone era and was only held to in a fragmented system of cultural norms.  This would explain why King Kamehameha II was able to abolish the taboo laws just forty years later (1819) and “the lack of social consequences when he did.” [24]

MacIntyre then turns his attention to the problems in our modern moral context and points to the figure of Friedrich Nietzsche who he refers to as the Kamehameha of the European tradition. This is based on Nietzsche’s ability to expose “what purported to be appeals to objectivity were in fact expressions of subjective will” and the difficulties that these proposed for the moral philosophers.

My hesitation with this analogy is tempered by my acceptance of its results. The hesitation, however, is that this may be a case of comparing philosophical apples to proverbial oranges. The Hawaiians were fine to participate in these social norms and to dutifully observe the taboos as there were handed down through tradition. The occasion of Cook’s arrival introduced an alien paradigm that examined the structures behind the taboo laws and found them wanting. It was the introduction of this foreign element that exposed ultimate lack of coherence, which predicated the dissembling of the taboo laws. Nietzsche, however, is not a foreigner to the intellectual atmosphere that he is exposing and his thinking is not the introduction of alien elements. In this sense, there is a hesitancy to allow this comparison to go uncontested – though ultimately the effect is much the same. The difference, however, is that Nietzsche is a both a result of the existing tradition as well as a critic of it. That seems significant for ultimately resolving the incongruence of the very forms and structures that were under review.

My hesitancy is, in the end, minor when compared to the overall result that comes from the analogy. My thinking is helped by those such as Hauerwas who agree with the diagnosis by saying  “our problem is that we live amid fragments of past moralities each, with good reason. Competing for our loyalty.” [25] We are, however, not simply post-modern islanders participating in and existing within an isolated inheritance. We are more like floating communities tied together by threads from our respective pasts and under constant exposure to new investigations by foreign expeditions.[26] Our era of inter-national, multi-cultural and trans-cultural global connectivity has resulted in a multiplicity where no tradition or community exists in the kind of isolation that allows for stability and continuity. It is within this context that our formation of virtuous agents must conceive of frameworks and embodied practices must be incubated.  That is no easy task.

The critique of Nietzsche, in this environment, has great merit then.  Nietzsche’s “Ubermensh – the man who transcends, finds his good nowhere in the social world to date” but only within himself and the law that he dictates and “his own new table of virtues.”[27] As one trapped within a society devoid of intrinsic meaning, he goes it alone and is responsible to make something out of it. The past means little to the great man who morality of society is from an archaic age – often disguising the real motive of power and a false claim to objectivity. In this landscape, his descendants would participate in political reform as merely a “final attempt to escape from its own consequences.” [28] This is a bleak picture and to what Hauerwas alludes when he picks up the critique:

“Modern moral philosophy become part of the problem, for its stress on autonomy, like its corresponding attempt to free ethics from history, produces people incapable of living lives that have narrative coherence.” [29]

MacIntyre (and those who follow him) are looking for a different approach that does not ignore either the formulations of the past nor the real awareness of the situated embeddeness of any proposed expression. This is why MacIntyre pits Nietzsche and the tradition of liberal individualism against the Aristotelian tradition.[30]


St. Benedict

MacIntyre closes his book with St. Benedict. This figure in referenced only one other time in After Virtue (p. 185) where he is paired with the likes of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Theresa along with Engels, Marx and Trotsky as “exemplars of certain of the virtues as I understand them”. [31] It is not in this list that my contention comes but in the final sentence of the book where MacIntyre says that we are waiting for another – albeit different kind – of St. Benedict.

The author looks to the time when virtues were able to survive the dark ages and laments that in our time, however, “the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time.” [32] It is here that my hope in the project fades. As persuasive as MacIntyre’s appeal has been and as comprehensive as his grasp and address of historical figures is, it is the assessment of both our postmodern landscape and the resulting needed move that comes up wanting. Benedict and his Orders existed within framework of Christendom that spanned time periods both before and after his influence. We stand at a precipice of a different kind of boundary that does not share the continuity that Benedict’s did. Thus, even if a new “very different”[33] Benedict figure were to emerge it would be unimaginable that such a figure’s work would be formulated or transmitted in any way that would be recognizable for the comparison. In fairness, MacIntyre somewhat addressed this concern in 2007 with the 25th anniversary of After Virtue in a new prologue for the 3rd edition. He explains:

Benedict’s greatness lay in making possible a quite new kind of institution, that of the monastery of prayer, learning, and labor, in which and around which communities could not only survive, but flourish, in a period of social and cultural darkness.[34]

The appeal of such a character would indeed be spectacular and, for the reasons stated, their work would be somewhat unprecedented. Outside of the existing continuity experienced by the original Benedict, this new set of rules would bridge gaps unimaginable to the original.


Whereas Benedict was embedded within a tradition and reformulated the practices of a tradition, the new pluralistic Benedict would necessarily be inter-traditional at best or non-traditional at worst and would thus be no sort of Benedict due simply to the radical disparity of the environment from which she emerged and the absence of a institutional mechanism that Benedict employed. A new Benedict within any tradition would therefore not being comparable to the original for the need and the application would be so radically disparate. If a new thinker/leader/organizer were to emerge from our modern context the program would be, one would have to imagine, outside of a historical tradition/expression and would necessarily manifest as a new school of religion altogether. If one was to employ a comparable rule to the Benedictine in our pluralistic age, it would exist either within an established institutional framework and thus not provide the same role as the original or would be appropriately pluralistic and thus not similar at all in function to the original within its (and subsequent) era.  At that point, it would be providing a very different service to the formation of virtuous beings that existed outside of established institutional silos of belief.

Here is where John Dewey and the Communitarian critics prove valuable. To put their approach in perspective, it is valuable to consider MacIntyre’s engagement of Max Weber. In chapter 6 and 7 of After Virtue, the author addresses the ideas of efficiency and bureaucracy in the work of Weber. The virtue must be more that simply the outcomes desired in any given moment or organization. Those “short-term results”[35] can be manipulated to bring about any desired ends and it is here that both the expert and the notion of effectiveness fall short.  The bureaucracy of Weber’s theory “adjusts means to ends”[36] and justifies the activity of the bureaucrat by their ability to employ a body of knowledge as an expert in bringing about greater efficiency. MacIntyre sees this as both the inheritance and the inherent virus of the enlightenment virus.

The notion of virtuous person is not to simply  ‘do as you are told’ but to be an individual embedded within a community who has been formed in such a way as to embody that virtue which is intrinsic to one’s orientation. To default to a notion of an omnipotent manager/knower is a devolution from that notion of a responsible actor so prized by MacIntyre. The Aristotelian conception of an agent acting within and formed by a collection (polis) is not found in deferring to the expertise of a bureaucratic manager focused on utilitarian efficiency. The gap, as MacIntyre points out, between “the generalized notion of effectiveness and the actual behavior [sic] that is open to managers”[37] is not what it is purported to be. What if, he asks, this quality widely imputed was largely lacking outside of its imputation?

MacIntyre’s questioning of the notion of ‘expertise’ brings to mind an insight that Slovoj Zizek recently brought in his appearance at the LA Library (ALOUD) event for his book Living in the End Times. Zizek questions the role of the modern university to form thinkers by telling a story about a forum he was invited to where an administrator at a prominent University lamented the lack of useful wisdom coming from these institutions.   The utilitarian administrator said that in moments of crisis, such as riots and civil emergencies, they needed ‘experts’ to tell them how to manage the crowd, control this, and handle that. Zizek bristled and said that what the University was responsible for was those who know how to question the questions that had delivered us into the mess originally. We don’t need experts to tell us how to ‘handle’ the situation as much as people who are formed by an ability to question the present answers as well as the initial questions themselves.  

With this in mind, I want to turn to the notion of democracy that John Dewey and those who inherited his concepts put forward. This understanding of “democracy as a ‘great community’ of shared values” conceptualizes politics as a “project of continually re-creating the public”.[1] This understanding is predicated on a conception of the democratic process in which citizens participate in a “shared cooperative undertaking of self-government as all levels of social association”.[2] This shared understanding requires citizens to participate in inquiry into collective problems as a ‘way of life’. This entails more than voting as it looks to participants to extend their participation in every engagement that is collective – the home, the neighborhood, and the workplace, etc. The rub, as Talisse articulates it, comes in the engagement of pluralism as both a vocabulary word and a concept. While, the author admits, that Deweyan notions of democracy may be fond of the word pluralism, the concept is somewhat untenable for those who hold to a Deweyan concept of democracy or, as outlined in this paper, a notion of virtue as articulated by MacIntyre.

Addressing the ‘nature of disagreement over Big Questions’, Talisse states that:

Pluralism is the thesis that at least some, and perhaps many, of these disagreements are inevitable, irresolvable, non-contingent, and, in a word, permanent… endemic to the human condition.[3]

These are irreconcilable conflicts and are not merely surface or apparent differences of opinion or perspective.   So while those who promote a Deweyan version of democracy may use the word ‘pluralism’ they are more likely to be expressing a brand of inclusive motives that seek to involve an openness to other views “within a framework of democratic community”.[4]  This is not exactly pluralism in Talisse’s view. It is the posture of inclusion toward those who have conceded the initial aims of the collective project but who hold to deferring avenues of address.

Deweyan democrats typically mean the prima facie commitments to the inclusion of all voices and viewpoints in the fallibilist, experimentalist project of democratic self-government through melioristic social intelligence. [5]

This is not pluralism in the common conception of the term – and certainly not as the term was utilized above. Those who hold a Deweyan notion of democracy require, at some level, an agreement to the basic of tenets of inquiry and participation in addressing difficulties. Deweyan, in this sense, cannot accommodate those who hold to pre-conceived convictions dogmatically, those who refuse to participate in the process and those who see no need to inquire at all. These go against the basic tenets of fallibility and experimentalism that are “at the heart of the inquiry”.[6]  As Talisse points out, these commitments are rooted in the particular notion of public education and the role of citizens and intellectuals in that public life.

MacIntyre, while not addressing pluralism directly (which might be an anachronistic expectation) does address the “falsity of relativism” that is manifest in our modern inability to come to some sort of resolution of difficulties and challenges that our societies face. Distancing himself from the liberalism versus communitarian debate, MacIntyre – who does not see himself as a communitarian – says that he sees no value in community as such, pointing out that some types of community have been nastily oppressive.[7] He points out that conservative views and the liberal positions that they purport to oppose so vehemently are both foreign to the project of After Virtue.  What he is interested in instead is a tradition that regenerates the virtues “in everyday life” by plain people in a “variety of practices”[8] that allows them to “question the dominant modes of moral and social discourse and the institutions that find their expression in those modes.” [9] It is precisely this expectation which holds so much promise for the project specifically within the modern morass that created such a moral quagmire and the inability to, in the end, resolve in any meaningful way the disparate views that result in the deep political divides and culture gulfs between camps. In fact, the lack of some agreed upon framework prevents even meaningful dialogue to be possible on the issues.

In the prologue to the 3rd edition, MacIntyre address several changes that his later work accounted for in the response (objection) to the initial work. The first was an appeal to Aristotelian virtues with an account of Aristotle’s metaphysical biology.[10] By accounting for his Aquinas awakening he was able to address this in a new way (noting the changes that would be required since Aristotle’s biology is not wholly acceptable) by stating:

It is only because human beings have an end towards which they are directed by reason of their specific nature, that practices, traditions and the like are able to function as they do. [11]

The second adjustment was not only metaphysical but also biological – even if it was not an Aristotelian one.[12] He admits that we are “inescapably inhabitants” of advanced modernity and bear its “social and cultural marks”.[13] This kind of inquiry he is proposing in only possible after the development of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. This is an important admission because of the inescapable historical “situatedness of all enquiry”. [14]  There are no impersonal standards or uncontestable values that one might appeal to in order to resolve moral disagreements rationally. It is here that MacIntyre holds to the original claim that it is only in an approach “whose beliefs and presuppositions were articulated in their classical form by Aristotle” that we may mediate the moral dilemmas that we are faced with in late modernity.



MacIntyre’s address of the modern philosophical situation is astute. He outlines the utter corruption of emotive individualism and its resulting paralysis for societal institutions and cultural interactions. While I have registered my minor hesitancies associated with utilizing historical characters like King Kamehameha II or St. Benedict, one must acknowledge that his assessment is thorough and that his proposal is substantive. I have placed them in conversation with two thinkers on education and formation in order to flesh out the possibilities of MacIntyre’s project for both congregational and educational needs. While the scope of this paper did not call for (or allow) an experimental curriculum to be developed, one can easily imagine the fledgling framework for such an endeavor. Pairing the reclaimed Aristotelian notion of virtues with a Deweyan approach to democracy or a Post-Liberal conception of community formation, as outlined in George Lindbeck’s The Nature Of Doctrine, opens the door to possibilities for communities of formation.

While the focus of this engagement has been largely conceptual and societal, it opens the door to examine both the existing structures of institutional frameworks (that may be deontological or utilitarian in orientation) and their philosophical underpinnings – that may be stated or not. Within a liberal democracy, whether conservative or liberal by label, the epistemology and the inherent individualism are unavoidable. Pair that with an unquestioned capitalist–consumerist paradigm then add in an increasingly pluralist perspective and MacIntyre’s project looks formidable for consideration.

The danger, of course, is that ‘community’ will be defined too narrowly as individual congregations, which will predictably retreat into ecclesiastical silos who play Wittgensteinian word games within their own walls. Community, then, must be defined within its societal framework as an integrated part of the whole – hopefully incorporated in an integral way that includes both political (public) and educational realities. The Aristotelian notion did and MacIntyre is not being merely sentimental in his attempt to reclaim it. Nor is he being romantic when looks to Aquinas or Benedict for inspiration and clarification. Admittedly, our pluralistic and post-modern era puts forward new challenges and unique obstacles for MacIntyre’s project but his assessment of the situation is sound and his proposal is substantive. There is real possibility for MacIntyre’s desire to reclaim the Aristotelian notion of virtue formation within embedded communities that are appropriately and historically situated.

[1] Gary Dorrien, “Obama’s Communitarianism,” Huffington Post, March 4, 2012,

[2] Talisse, “Can Democracy Be a Way of Life? Deweyan Democracy and the Problem of Pluralism (Robert Talisse) –,” 1.

[3] Ibid., 3.

[4] Ibid., 12.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 13.

[7] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xiv.

[8] Among which he names “families, households, schools, clinics, and local forms of political community.

[9] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xv.

[10] Terry Eagleton has a fascinating take on the essential component of biology “To say that morality is basically a biological affair is to say that, like everything else about us, it is rooted ultimately in the body. As Alasdair Maclntyre observes, `Human identity is primarily, even if not only, bodily and therefore animal identity’. It is the mortal, fragile, suffering, ecstatic, needy, dependent, desirous, compassionate body which furnishes the basis of all moral thought. Moral thought puts the body back into our discourse.” Terry Eagleton, After Theory (Basic Books, 2004), Kindle Locations 1668–1671.

[11] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xi.

[12] Dewey had similar concerns about some aspects of the antiquated worldview that Aristotle inhabited. The classification of slaves and designations of  ‘inferior’ and ‘superior’ as well others should not been seen as a wholesale permission to disregard Aristotelian notions altogether. John Dewey, Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (Macmillan, 1916), 296–297.

[13] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xi.

[14] Ibid., xii.

[1] Alasdair C. MacIntyre, “After Virtue”, Third ed. (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 2.

[2] Alasdair C. MacIntyre, After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 8.

[3] Ibid., 9.

[4] Ibid., 11.

[5] Ibid., 2.

[6] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xi.

[7] MacIntyre, After Virtue, 202.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Stanley Hauerwas, “The Virtues of Alasdair MacIntrye”, October 2007,

[10] John Dewey, Jo Ann Boydston, and Sidney Hook, The Middle Works of John Dewey, Volume 9, 1899-1924: Democracy and Education, 1916 (SIU Press, 2008), 93.

[11] John Dewey, Jo Ann Boydston, and James Gouinlock, The Later Works of John Dewey, Volume 2, 1925 – 1953: 1925-1927, Essays, Reviews, Miscellany, and The Public and Its Problems (SIU Press, 2008), 327.

[12] Ibid., 328.

[13] Robert B. Talisse, “Can Democracy Be a Way of Life? Deweyan Democracy and the Problem of Pluralism (Robert Talisse) –”, n.d., 8,

[14] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xiii.

[15] Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics (SCM Press, 2003), 5.

[16] Ibid., 6.

[17] John Rawls, Political Liberalism (Columbia University Press, 2005), 55.

[18] Ibid., 37.

[19] The subtitle of this article says “We’ve reached a point in our civilization where counterculture has mutated into a self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. So while hipsterdom is the end product of all prior countercultures, it’s been stripped of its subversion and originality. “

[20] Douglas Haddow, “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters”, n.d.,

[21] Simon Critchley, “Occupy’s Perfect Storm | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters”, n.d.,

[22] Critchley goes on to say that “the Occupy movement is fascinating from the standpoint of the separation of politics and power and is particularly fascinating to the student of Athenian democracy, with its focus on the ekklesia, the general assembly, and the boule or council”. – Tying in the Aristotelian virtue that is the subject of this paper.

[23] MacIntyre, After Virtue, 105.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom, 4.

[26] The objection may seem insignificant on the surface, but as one exploring post-colonial critiques, it seems noteworthy that Neitzche is a native born son to western philosophical thought and his examination is its native tongue. The language and the thought employed is inherently western philosophical making it an examination from within and not a foreign introduction of questioning from without.

[27] MacIntyre, After Virtue, 239.

[28] Ibid., 259.

[29] Hauerwas, “The Virtues of Alasdair MacIntrye.”

[30] MacIntyre, After Virtue, 243.

[31] Ibid., 185.

[32] Ibid., 245.

[33] Ibid.

[34] MacIntyre, “After Virtue,” xvi.

[35] MacIntyre, After Virtue, 72.

[36] Ibid., 82.

[37] Ibid., 72.