“We Ought to Eat in Order to Work, Not Vice Versa”: MacIntyre, Practices, and the Best Work for Humankind

Journal of Business Ethics 174 (2):263-274 (2021)
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This paper draws a distinction between ‘right MacIntyreans’ who are relatively optimistic that MacIntyre’s vision of ethics can be realised in capitalist society, and ‘left MacIntyreans’ who are sceptical about this possibility, and aims to show that the ‘left MacIntyrean’ position is a promising perspective available to business ethicists. It does so by arguing for a distinction between ‘community-focused’ practices and ‘excellence-focused’ practices. The latter concept fulfils the promise of practices to provide us with an understanding of the best work for humankind and highlights the affinities between MacIntyre’s concept of a practice and Marx’s conception of good work as free, creative activity. The paper concludes with a suggestion that we reflect on the best forms of work so that we can strive to ensure the very best activities, those most consonant with our flourishing, one day become available to all.

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Matthew Sinnicks
University of Southampton

Citations of this work

Quaker Business Ethics as MacIntyrean Tradition.Nicholas Burton & Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 176 (3):507-518.
Work.Matthew Sinnicks & Craig Reeves - 2023 - In Mortimer Sellars & Stephan Kirste (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer.
MacIntyre and Business Ethics.Matthew Sinnicks - 2023 - In Deborah C. Poff & Alex C. Michalos (eds.), Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. Springer Verlag. pp. 1278-1282.

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References found in this work

Law’s Empire.Ronald Dworkin - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.

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