The Reflective Life: Living Wisely With Our Limits

Paperback | April 25, 2010

byValerie Tiberius

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What can we do to live life wisely? You might think that the answer would be to think and reflect more. But this is not Valerie Tiberius's answer. On her view, when we really take account of what we are like - when we recognize our psychological limits - we will see that too much thinking andreflecting is bad for us. Instead, we need to think and reflect better. This means that we need to develop wisdom: we need to care about things that will sustain us and give us good experiences, we need to have perspective on our successes and failures, and we need to be moderately self-aware andcautiously optimistic about human nature. Further, we need to know when to think about our values, character, and choices, and when not to. A crucial part of wisdom, Tiberius maintains, is knowing when to stop reflecting and get lost in the experience. The Reflective Life also considers the issue of how to philosophize about how to live. A recent trend in moral philosophy has been toward what is sometimes called 'empirically informed ethics'. This methodology has not yet caught on in normative ethics, primarily because we cannot conclude anythingabout what ought to be the case from the facts about what is. Tiberius agrees that this leap should be avoided, but argues that empirical psychology can inform our philosophical theories in interesting ways.

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What can we do to live life wisely? You might think that the answer would be to think and reflect more. But this is not Valerie Tiberius's answer. On her view, when we really take account of what we are like - when we recognize our psychological limits - we will see that too much thinking andreflecting is bad for us. Instead, we need t...

Valerie Tiberius is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota.

other books by Valerie Tiberius

Format:PaperbackDimensions:234 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.56 inPublished:April 25, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199575606

ISBN - 13:9780199575602

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Reflective Life and Reflective Values1. Introduction2. Reflective ValuesPart II: Wisdom and Perspective3. Wisdom and Flexibility4. Perspective5. Self-Awareness6. OptimismPart III: Beyond the First Person Point of View7. Morality and the Reflective Life8. Normativity and Ethical Theory9. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "How to live? That grand and enduring question is the focus of Valerie Tiberius's new book, which brings together two trends in ethics -- epistemic virtue theory and conscientious treatment of empirical psychology -- to offer an intriguing, ambitious,out-of-the-armchair theory of the good life." --Remy Debes, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews