Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre honored for book’s lasting influence

Author: Kate Cohorst

Alasdair MacIntyre

The American Political Science Association recently honored University of Notre Dame philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre for his influential 1981 book "After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory" (University of Notre Dame Press).

MacIntyre, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Senior Research Professor of Philosophy (emeritus), received the association’s biennial Benjamin E. Lippincott Award, which recognizes “a work of exceptional quality by a living political theorist” that is still considered significant at least 15 years after its original publication.

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, by Alasdair MacIntyre

When the book first appeared in 1981, Newsweek called it “a stunning new study of ethics by one of the foremost moral philosophers in the English-speaking world.” In 2007, it was also featured in “One Hundred Great Catholic Books: From the Early Centuries to the Present” by Don Brophy.

“Alasdair MacIntyre has done more than any other person in the last quarter century to energize debate about the dilemmas of ethical decision making in daily living,” Brophy writes.

A fellow of the American Philosophical Society and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, MacIntyre has made significant contributions to the history of philosophy, moral philosophy, political theory, philosophy of the social sciences, and philosophy of religion.

He is a prolific writer whose books include “A Short History of Ethics,” “Whose Justice? Which Rationality?” “Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry,” and “Dependent Rational Animals.” He most recently published “God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition.”

Four other Notre Dame faculty members received book awards at the American Political Science Association annual meeting over Labor Day weekend:

  • David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame, and his co-author, Robert Putnam of Harvard University received the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us” (Simon and Schuster). The Wilson Award recognizes the best book published in the U.S. during the previous calendar year on government, politics or international affairs.
  • Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life, was named co-winner of the 2011 Hubert Morken Award for his book “God and the Founders: Madison, Washington, and Jefferson” (Cambridge University Press). The biennial prize recognizes the best book in religion and politics.
  • Assistant Professor Monika Nalepa was named co-winner of the 2011 Best Book Award from the Comparative Democratization Section of the APSA for “Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe” (Cambridge University Press).

Originally published by Kate Cohorst at on September 09, 2011.