chapter  4
18 Pages

Is Aristotelian Capitalism Possible?

WithRajeev Sehgal

According to Alasdair MacIntyre Aristotelian capitalism is not possible. MacIntyre’s Neo-Aristotelian philosophy is considered by him and others to provide the basis for a radical critique of capitalism. Critics of MacIntyre and certain defenders of the capitalist economy think that this is mistaken and that Aristotelian capitalism is possible. Robert Solomon (1992) and John Kay (2003) provide attempts to defend the case for Aristotelian Capitalism. Kay explicitly attempts to use MacIntyre’s ideas in his defence of the possibility of Aristotelian Capitalism. He is therefore the main focus of my defence of MacIntyre against his Aristotelian Capitalist critics. Others who defend the possibility of Aristotelian Capitalism are Paul and Miller (1990). I do not to aim to defend MacIntyre’s Neo-Aristotelianism in this chapter. This is because a virtue-based account of the good is accepted by both Aristotelian defenders and critics of capitalism. Rather my concern here is with the correct application of MacIntyre’s Neo-Aristotelian philosophy and whether it should be considered as providing a critique or defence of capitalism.