Volume 22, 1997
Virtue, Happiness, and Intelligibility
In such works as A Short History of Ethics, Against the Self-lmages of the Age, and After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre has argued that the intelligibility of the moral life hinges upon viewing the moral life as essential to the happy life, or eudaimonia. In my article I examine the reasons he gives for saying this, arguing that this thesis is not sufficiently defended by MacIntyre. I also draw connections between this thesis about the intelligibility of the moral life and other aspects of MacIntyre’s thought, such as his communitarianism. In concluding I note that several of MacIntyre’s more significant claims about morality might well be true even if his thesis about the intelligibility of the moral life is false.