Review Of "A Short History Of Ethics: A History Of Moral Philosophy From The Homeric Age To The Twentieth Century," 2nd Edition By A. MacIntyre

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MacIntyre's highly respected Short History (1966) has been translated into six languages. Out of print in English for several years, its reappearance in this second edition is a welcome event. While no changes have been made to the body of the text, a new preface enables MacIntyre to address what he sees as shortcomings of the original. Changes in his philosophical and moral standpoint, unclarity in some of his original conceptions, and misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of the views of some of the thinkers under discussion are reviewed, with generous tributes to critics of the first edition. MacIntyre's qualifications, however, do not vitiate the strengths of the original text. Chief among those strengths are an exploration of the historical context of moral concepts and ideas, and the issue-oriented character of his discussion. Within these parameters, MacIntyre made a judicious selection of materials to be covered without sacrificing depth of analysis. MacIntyre is always provocative, and this book will continue to excite engagement with fundamental moral issues. MacIntyre is currently professor of philosophy at Duke University; his many books include Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry (CH, Feb'91) and After Virtue (CH, Feb'82). Highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and faculty.


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