Talbot Brewer

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I am a Professor in the University of Virginia Department of Philosophy and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.  I received my Ph.D. from the Harvard University Department of Philosophy in 1998.  I was a Visiting Professor in the Harvard University Philosophy Department during the spring semester of 2009. My new book, The Retrieval of Ethics, was published by Oxford University Press in August of 2009. Most of my work is in the area of ethical theory, with a special emphasis on moral psychology and on the intersection of Aristotelian and Kantian approaches to normative ethics.  I also write and teach about political philosophy, and I occasionally give talks and publish essays on philosophical aspects of contemporary politics.  I have been a Research Fellow at the University of Virginia Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life, and a Graduate Fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.  I have taught courses on such topics as the history of ethical theory, contemporary ethical theory, action theory, moral psychology, contemporary theories of justice, democracy, free will and personal identity. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Corcoran Department of Philosophy

University of Virginia

P.O. Box 400780, 120 Cocke Hall

Charlottesville, VA 22904-4780

 

Phone: 434-924-7869

E-mail: tbrewer at virginia.edu

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 

Š      University of Virginia Philosophy Department, Professor, 6/2010-present; Associate Professor, 8/2004-6/2010; Assistant Professor, 1997-7/2004

 

Š      Associate Editor, Ethics, 2009-present

 

Š      Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard University Philosophy Department, Spring 2009

 

Š      University of Pennsylvania Philosophy Department, Visiting Lecturer, 1996 – 97

 

Faculty Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, U. Va., 2002-present

Research Fellow, Institute for Practical Ethics, U. Va., 2000-1

Member/Chair, Page-Barbour & Richards Lectures Committee, 2004-present (Chair from 2006-2008)

Director, Undergraduate Program in Philosophy, 2001-2005

Co-Director, Moral Character and Action Workshop, 1999-2002

Director, Philosophy Honors Program, 1999-2000

Vice President, University of Virginia Philosophy Club, 1999-2002

Member, Bioethics Minor Advisory Committee, 2000-present

Member, PPL Major Advisory Committee, 2004-present

 

EDUCATION

Š      Harvard University, Ph.D., Philosophy, June 1998

Š      Tufts University, MA, Philosophy, June 1990

 

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

Š      Ethical Theory

Š      Moral Psychology

Š      Theory of Action

Š      History of Ethical Theory

 

AREAS OF COMPETENCE

Š      Social and Political Philosophy

Š      History of Political Philosophy

Š      Free Will

Š      Personal Identity

 

BOOKS

Š        The Retrieval of Ethics – (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)

Š        The Bounds of Choice: Unchosen Virtues, Unchosen Commitments(New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 2000)

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Š        “Alienated Emotions” – Forthcoming in Carla Bagnoli, editor, Morality and the Emotions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Š         “Two Pictures of Practical Thinking” – Forthcoming in Lawrence Jost and Julian Wuerth, editors, Perfecting Virtue: New Essays on Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Š        “The Foundations of Neo-Aristotelianism: Critical Notice of Michael Thompson, Life and ActionPhilosophical Books (Volume 50, Number 4, October 2009), 197-212.

Š         “On Moral Alchemy: A Critical Examination of Post-9/11 U.S. Military Policy” – Matthew J. Morgan, editor, The Day that Changed Everything? The Impact of 9/11, Volume VI: Religion and Philosophy (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009) 221-32.

Š        “Is Welfare an Independent Good?” – Social Philosophy & Policy (Volume 26, Number 1, Winter 2009), 96-125.

Š        “Morality and the Second Person” (A critical study of Stephen Darwall’s The Second-Personal Standpoint) – The Philosophical Quarterly (Volume 59, Number 234, January 2009), 163-7.

Š        Review of Sergio Tenenbaum, Appearances of the Good The Philosophical Review (Volume 117, Number 4, October 2008), 618-20.

Š        “For a Unified Conception of the Human Good” – An interview published in Culture (Volume 2, Number 2, Fall 2008), 10-12.

Š        “Is Welfare an Independent Good?” Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., and Jeffrey Paul, editors, Aggregation in Moral and Political Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 96-125.

Š        “Three Dogmas of Desire” – in Timothy Chappell, editor, Values and Virtues (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 257-284.

Š        “The Patina of the Past: Meditations on Memory and Home” The Hedgehog Review (Volume 7, Number 3, Fall 2005), 46-55.

Š        “Virtues We Can Share: A Reading of Aristotle’s Ethics” – Ethics (Volume 115, Number 4, July 2005), 721-58.

Š        “Máximas y Virtudes” – in José María Torralba, editor, Doscientos AĖos Después: Retornos y Relecturas de Kant (2005 supplemental volume of Anuario Filosófico), 99-112.

Š        Savoring Time: Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity”Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (with other selected papers from the annual meeting of the British Society for Ethical Theory, in Volume 6, Number 2, June 2003), 143-160.

Š        “Two Kinds of Commitments (And Two Kinds of Social Groups)”Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (Volume 66, Number 3, May 2003), 554-583.

Š        “The Real Problem with Internalism about Reasons”Canadian Journal of Philosophy (Volume 42, No. 4, December 2002), 443-473.

Š        “Maxims and Virtues” – The Philosophical Review (Vol. 3, No. 4, October 2002), 539-72.

Š        “The Character of Temptation: Towards a More Plausible Kantian Moral Psychology”  Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (Volume 83, Summer 2002), 103-130.

Š        “We the People, We the Warriors” -- The Washington Post Op-Ed (August 26, 2002).

Š        “A Review Essay on John Rawls’ Justice as Fairness: A Restatement”The Hedgehog Review (Volume 4, No. 1, Spring 2002), 100-115.

Š        “Rethinking Our Maxims”Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (with other selected papers from the 2000 annual meeting of the British Society for Ethical Theory, in Volume 4, No. 3, September 2001), 219-230.

Š        “Civil Society and Democracy: A Conversation with Michael Walzer”The Hedgehog Review (Volume 2, No. 1, 2000), 108-121.

Š        “Review of Robert Audi’s Moral Knowledge and Ethical CharacterThe Philosophical Review (Volume 108, No. 3, July 1999), 433-6.

WRITING IN PROGRESS

Š        “Virtue” – To appear in Wiley-Blackwell’s International Encyclopedia of Ethics (eds. Hugh LaFollette, Sarah Stroud and John Deigh)

Š        “The Tragedy of the Cultural Commons”

Š         “The Subject Matter of Philosophical Ethics”

INVITED PAPERS

Š      On Emotional Labor – New School for Social Research, Department of Philosophy, April 2010

Š      Two Pictures of Practical Thinking – Johns Hopkins University, Department of Philosophy, January 2009

Š      Against ‘Goodness For’ – Virginia Philosophy Association, Keynote Address for Annual Meeting, October 2008

Š      Acerca de la Alquimia Moral: Un Examen Crítico de la Política Militar Norteamericana después del 11 de Septiembre – Centro de Estudios Filosóficos, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú, August 2008

Š      Against ‘Goodness For’ – Second International Colloquium of the University of Virginia Philosophy Department, Tarma, Peru, August 2008

Š      Is Welfare an Independent Good? – Conference on Aggregation in Moral and Political Philosophy, Center for Social Philosophy and Policy, Bowling Green State University, October 2007

Š      Pleasure and Aristotelian Ethics – Virginia Commonwealth University Philosophy Department, April 2007

Š      The Value of Unproductive Activity – Johns Hopkins University Seminar on Moral and Political Philosophy, November 2006

Š      What Virtue Epistemology Might Be – Moral Psychology Colloquium, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, May 2006

Š      Three Dogmas of Desire – Georgetown University Philosophy Department, Washington, D.C., October 2005

Š      Pathologies of American Democracy – The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, University of Virginia, September 2005

Š      Two Pathologies of Liberal Democracy – Center for American Studies and Research, American University in Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, May 2005

Š      Virtues We Can Share – Joint Philosophy Conference of the American University in Beirut and the University of Virginia, Lebanon, May 2005

Š      Virtues We Can Share – Center for Social Philosophy and Policy, Bowling Green State University, March 2005

Š      Propositional Desire vs. Ecstatic Desire – Deliberation, Desires and Emotions: A Debate between Medieval and Contemporary Philosophers, a conference held at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, May 2004

Š      Virtues We Can Share: Friendship and Aristotelian Moral Theory – Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics, a conference held at the University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, April-May 2004

Š      Maxims and Virtues – 200 Years after: Returns and Reinterpretations of Kant, a conference held at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, March 2004

Š      Knowing One’s Own Motives – Third Annual Colloquium on Epistemology: “Self-Knowledge and Other Perplexities,” Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, June 2003

Š      War and Democracy – University of Virginia Society of Fellows, Charlottesville, VA, April 2003

Š      Maxims and Virtues – Conference on Kantian Ethics: Interpretations and Critiques, The Values Institute, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, January 2003

Š      Pleasures and Reasons for Action – Bled Conference on Rationality, Bled, Slovenia, June 2002

Š      Maxims and Virtues – Second Annual Moral Psychology Colloquium, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, May 2002

Š      Savoring Time: Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity – Annual Meeting, British Society for Ethical Theory, University of Reading, England, April 2002

Š      Savoring Time: Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity – Symposium Paper, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting, Seattle, WA, March 2002

Š      Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity – Virginia Tech Philosophy Colloquium, Blacksburg, VA, October 2001

Š      Savoring Time: Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity – First Annual Moral Psychology Colloquium, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, April 2001

Š      Rethinking our Maxims: Perceptual Salience and Practical Judgment in Kantian Ethics – Annual meeting, British Society for Ethical Theory, The Netherlands, July 2000

Š      Rethinking our Maxims: Perceptual Salience and Practical Judgment in Kantian Ethics – Symposium paper, American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Meeting, Boston, MA, December 1999

Š      A Difficulty with Kant’s Account of Evil – University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, February 1997

Š      A Difficulty with Kant’s Account of Evil – University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, February 1997

OTHER PRESENTATIONS

Š      Panelist, Roundtable on Revolutions in Intellectual History – “Approaching Revolutions” Conference, Center for German Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, March 2010

Š      Presentation on Love and Moral Value – Love and Justice Work Group, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, March 2010

Š      Comments on Michael Thompson’s Life and Action – Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Chicago, February 2010

Š      Panelist, Pathologies of Democracy Conference – University of Virginia, Philosophy, Public Policy and Law Program, October 2009

Š      Comments on Travis Rieder’s “The Case for a New Contractualism” – Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, April 2009

Š      Panelist, Basic Income Conference – University of Virginia, Philosophy, Public Policy and Law Program, November 2008

Š      Respondent to Robert Audi’s “Intuition, Inference and Rational Disagreement in Ethics” – University of Virginia, April 2008

Š      Panelist, Global Justice Conference – University of Virginia, Philosophy, Public Policy and Law Program, November 2006

Š      Comments on Heidi Hurd’s “Promises Schmomises” – University of Virginia Political Theory Colloquium, February 2006

Š      Panelist, “Democracy and Technology” – University of Virginia Department of Technology, Science and Society, February 2006

Š      Comments on Chrisoula Andreou’s “Incommensurable Alternatives and Rational Choice” – Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Boston, MA, December 2004

Š      Comments on Michael Lynch’s “Truth, Power and Democracy” – The Philosophy and Politics Department Honors Programs, University of Virginia, October 2004

Š      Comments on Richard Ryan’s “To Be Happy or To Be Self-Fulfilled: A Review of Research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being” – Interdisciplinary Workshop on Well-Being, University of Minnesota, October 2003

Š      Comments on Jennifer Whiting’s “Love: Self-Propagation, Self-Actualization, or Ekstasis?” – Conference on Moral Psychology, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, April 2003

Š      The Art of War – For opening of art show entitled “The Art of War,” Main Street Market, Charlottesville, VA, March 2003

Š      Assessing the Doctrine of Preemptive Self-Defense – Forum on Alternatives to War with Iraq, George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Arlington, VA, September 2002

Š      Panelist, “What Is Honor, and Why Does It Matter?” – University of Virginia Moral Character and Action Workshop, February 2002

Š      The Real Problem with Internalism about Reasons – University of Virginia Philosophy Department, Charlottesville, VA, October 2000

Š      Democracy and the Future of the Left – The University of Virginia Roundtable, Charlottesville, VA, April 1999

Š      Marx on Exploitation: A Reply to Jo Wolff – University of Virginia Department of Government, Charlottesville, VA, October 1998

Š      Reflections on E.O. Wilson and Evolutionary Ethics – Moral Character and Action Workshop, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, September 1998

Š      Perceptual Salience and Practical Judgment – University of Virginia Philosophy Colloquium, Charlottesville, VA, August 1998

Š      Two Kinds of Commitments – University of Virginia Philosophy Colloquium, Charlottesville, VA, November 1997

Š      Dirty Hands, Moral Luck and the Incommensurability of Value – Harvard University Moral and Political Philosophy Workshop, Cambridge, MA, December 1995

FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

Š      Faculty Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia, 2002-present

Š      Recognition for Excellence in Teaching, The Mead Endowment at the University of Virginia, 2003

Š      Faculty Honoree, The Seven Society Monticello Dinner, March 2003

Š      Research Fellow, Institute for Practical Ethics, University of Virginia, 2000-01

Š      Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, Harvard University, 1995-1996

Š      Graduate Fellow, Program in Ethics and the Professions, Harvard University, 1995-96

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Š      Graduate Supervision: Adam Kadlac (Dissertation, 2007; currently Lecturer at U.Va.), Hannah Phelps (MA Thesis and Dissertation, 2007; currently Assistant Professor at Pacific Lutheran University), Brian Powell (MA Thesis and Dissertation, 2006; currently Assistant Profesor at Western Illinois University), Jared Elosta (MA Thesis, 2004), Katherine Dimitriou (MA Thesis, 2001), Ayca Boylu (Dissertation underway), Chris Collins (Dissertation underway), Ty Landrum (Dissertation underway), Amy Gilbert (Dissertation underway).

Š      Graduate Courses: PHIL 806 (Contemporary Ethics), PHIL 851 (Virtue Ethics), PHIL 752 (Ethics), PHIL 704 (Conceptions of Practical Reason), PHIL 506 (Deliberative Democracy), PHIL 554 (Pleasure, Emotion and Desire), PHIL 556 (Liberalism and its Critics).

Š      Undergraduate Courses: ), PHIL 351 (Ethics), PHIL 352 (Contemporary Ethics), PHIL 369 (Justice, Law and Morality), PHIL 357 (Political Philosophy), PHIL 151 (Introduction to Ethics and Political Philosophy), PHIL 203 (Boundaries of the Self), PHIL 255 (Democracy), PHIL 402 (Seminar for Majors: Contemporary Ethics).

Š      Teaching Awards: Mead Endowment Teaching Award (2003); University of Virginia Seven Society Honoree for Undergraduate Teaching (2003).