Why Alasdair MacIntyre is not a Conservative Post-Liberal
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Why Alasdair MacIntyre is not a Conservative Post-Liberal. (2020). The Political Science Reviewer, 43(2), 532-564. https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/637


A recent trend in political theory is the rise of conservative post-liberal thinkers; some, such as Patrick Deneen, appropriate Alasdair MacIntyre. They do so because MacIntyre has long been presented as a thinker who urges us to reject modernity and liberalism tout court, in favor of pre-modern theories and communities.  In this essay I contend that MacIntyre’s thought diverges from conservative post-liberalism, with respect to claims about pre-modernity, modernity, and liberal political institutions. For MacIntyre, unlike for conservative post-liberals, pre-modernity fails to provide readily applicable theoretical and practical alternatives to liberal modernity. In the absence of alternatives MacIntyre holds that we must acknowledge that modernity, including liberal political institutions, has some resources to help us achieve human flourishing. Because MacIntyre acknowledges the defects of pre-modernity and the advantages brought by modernity, he is not a conservative post-liberal and can challenge conservative post-liberals to moderate their critique of liberal modernity.


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