In his latest book, Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity, Alasdair MacIntyre provides an extraordinary consolidation of a lifetime of philosophical work. The conference aims to address the themes raised by this book, assess MacIntyre’s overall philosophy project, and begin a discussion about the state of ethics and politics in modernity.

MacIntyre has been a lifelong critic of the reigning orthodoxies of Anglophone moral and political philosophy. Most famously articulated in After Virtue, his critique of moral and political liberalism in favour of Aristotelian ethics has stimulated vigorous academic debate. Moreover, MacIntyre has always challenged the disciplinary entrenchments of modern academic practice. Not only does MacIntyre’s philosophical project incorporate insights from a range of academic disciplines, it also draws from a number of theories whose advocates seldom communicate with one another, including Thomists and Marxists. Although MacIntyre’s unique version of neo-Aristotelianism has kept him to the fringe of Anglophone moral and political philosophy, it contests the disciplinary constraints prevalent in moral and political philosophy. MacIntyre’s latest book provides an opportunity to challenge the theoretical assumptions with which academics approach moral and political philosophy, and confront MacIntyre’s relegation to the fringes of Anglophone academy through vibrant debate about the direction of ethics and politics.

Can one justify the Aristotelian account of human action in the face of a ‘consensus’ against it in moral and political philosophy? What thinkers in the various Western traditions are most helpful for evaluating moral and political liberalism? Do they provide satisfactory concepts for moral and political philosophy? What does MacIntyre’s project have in common with other thinkers who remain on the fringes of Anglophone moral enquiry?

The Programme for the Foundations of Law and Constitutional Government, housed in the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law, along with the Centre for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics and the Las Casas Institute, are organising a two-day conference to host interdisciplinary discussion on MacIntyre, his philosophical project, and the future of academic and political practice.

The conference will take place on 29-30 June 2017 at Blackfriars Hall and St John’s College, Oxford. Email for additional information, and see below for session details.

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