One of the Twentieth Century’s Leading Moral Philosophers Featured in Award-Winning Biography

On September 1, 2022, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish Alasdair MacIntyre: An Intellectual Biography by Émile Perreau-Saussine, translated by Nathan J. Pinkoski, with a foreword by Pierre Manent. Winner of the prestigious 2005 Philippe Habert Prize, the late Perreau-Saussine’s Alasdair Macintyre: Une biographie intellectuelle, will now be available for the first time in English.

Alasdair MacIntyre provides a stimulating intellectual biography and critical interpretation of the famed philosopher. Perreau-Saussine guides his readers through MacIntyre’s lifelong project by tracking his responses to liberalism’s limitations in light of the human search for what is good and true in politics, philosophy, and theology. The portrait that emerges is one of an intellectual giant who comes to oppose modern liberal individualism’s arguably singular focus on averting evil at the expense of a concerted pursuit of human goods founded upon moral and practical reasoning.

“The book is a sympathetic treatment of the ideas that have consistently run through MacIntyre’s complicated career, but it doesn’t hesitate to pose to MacIntyre tough-minded intellectual challenges. It is a genuine philosophical dialogue between two serious thinkers.”

—Ronald Beiner, author of Dangerous Minds

In the introduction, Perreau-Saussine explains his purpose in studying this complex thinker. He says that even though MacIntyre’s intellectual journey provides a very clear understanding of the intellectual history of the second half of the twentieth century, it remains misunderstood. “The range of MacIntyre’s reflection,” Perreau-Saussine continues, “remains difficult to grasp, even though there is agreement to see him as a storyteller of lively charm, a brilliant historian, a daring polemicist, and the author of profound views on . . . evil” during this era.

Alasdair Macintyre has never written an autobiography. He began his lengthy academic career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame as a professor of philosophy in 1985, became the McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy in 1989, and in 2000 he was named the Rev. John A. O’Brien Senior Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy. Since his retirement from active teaching in 2010, he remains the Senior Distinguished Research Fellow of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

The University of Notre Dame Press has served as MacIntyre’s publisher in the United States for over four decades. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition (1981, 2nd ed. 1984, 3rd ed. 2007) is one of the most important works of Anglophone moral and political philosophy in the English-speaking world and has sold over 100,000 copies. MacIntyre’s other books published by Notre Dame Press include Against the Self-Images of the Age (1978), Hume’s Ethical Writings (1979), Marxism and Christianity (1984), Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1988), A Short History of Ethics, 2d ed. (1998), and Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry (1990).

LEARN MORE

Read an excerpt from Alasdair MacIntyre in Church Life Journal.

View the promotional video.

Alasdair MacIntyre: An Intellectual Biography will be available from University of Notre Dame Press in hardback on September 1, 2022. We encourage you to buy the book at your local independent bookstore either in person or online. For more information, or for a review copy, contact Kathryn Pitts, pitts.5@nd.edu, 574.631.3267.

This piece originally appeared at undpressnews.nd.edu.

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