The Retrieval of Ethics by Talbot BrewerThe Retrieval of Ethics by Talbot Brewer

The Retrieval of Ethics

byTalbot Brewer

Paperback | May 12, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 275 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Talbot Brewer presents an invigorating new approach to ethical theory, in the context of human selfhood and agency. The first main theme of the book is that contemporary ethical theorists have focused too narrowly on actions and the discrete episodes of deliberation through which we choosethem, and that the subject matter of the field looks quite different if one looks instead at unfolding activities and the continuous forms of evaluative awareness that carry them forward and that constitute an essential element of those activities. The second is that ethical reflection is itself acentrally important life activity, and that philosophical ethics is an extension of this practical activity rather than a merely theoretical reflection upon it.Brewer's approach is founded on a far-reaching reconsideration of the notions of the nature and sources of human agency, and particularly of the way in which practical thinking gives shape to activities, relationships and lives. He contests the usual understanding of the relationship betweenphilosophical psychology and ethics. The Retrieval of Ethics shows the need for a new contemplative vision of the point or value of human action - without which we will remain unable to make optimal sense of our efforts to unify our lives around a tenable conception of how best to live them, or ofthe yearnings that draw us to our ideals and to each other.
Talbot Brewer is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia.
Title:The Retrieval of EthicsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:May 12, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019969222X

ISBN - 13:9780199692224

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction1. Contesting the World-Making Prejudice2. Fragmented Activities, Fragmented Lives3. Fluency in Practical Thinking4. Savoring Time: Pleasure and Unreserved Activity5. The Primacy of Good6. Against Modern Dualism about the Good7. Virtues and Other Selves8. The Virtues in Theory and Practice

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "Talbot Brewer's The Retrieval of Ethics is a deep, provocative, and wide-ranging contribution to the virtue ethical critique of modern moral philosophy. ... Brewer is not afraid to go out on a limb when led there by the logic of his argument, carving out newconceptual space in the process. This is what makes the book refreshing.... [This is] an enormously rich book that draws fruitfully upon philosophical, literary, and theological works and covers an incredibly broad swath of philosophical terrain. ... In sum, The Retrieval of Ethics is a challengingand rewarding contribution not only to the narrow field called 'virtue ethics', but to practical philosophy very broadly construed." --Tamar Schapiro, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews