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Talbot Brewer


B.A., Duke University 
M.A. Philosophy, Tufts University 
Ph.D. Philosophy, Harvard University 

AOS: Ethical Theory, Moral Psychology, Theory of Action
AOC: Social and Political Philosophy, History of Ethical and Political Theory


Talbot Brewer is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia. He specializes in ethics and political philosophy, with particular attention to moral psychology and Aristotelian ethics.  He is the author of numerous essays, including “Virtues We Can Share: A Reading of Aristotle’s Ethics” (Ethics 115, 2005), “Savoring Time: Desire, Pleasure and Wholehearted Activity” (Ethical Theory and Moral 6, 2003), “Two Kinds of Commitments (And Two Kinds of Social Groups)” (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66, 2003), and “Maxims and Virtues” (The Philosophical Review 3, 2002). He has been a visiting professor in the Harvard University Philosophy Department and has been invited to present his work to audiences at a number of universities and professional conferences in North America, South America, Europe, China and the Middle East. He has authored two books, the most recent of which is The Retrieval of Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Selected Publications

The Retrieval of Ethics – (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009; paperback in May 2011). Reviewed in Notre Dame Philosophical ReviewsEthicsThe Philosophical QuarterlyThe Journal of Moral PhilosophyThe Review of Metaphysics, and Analysis.

Reflections on the Cultural Commons” – Forthcoming in Alejandro Nestor García, editor, Being Human in a Consumerist Society (Ashgate Publishing, October 2014).

“Kant and Rawls on the Cultivation of Virtue” – Theory and Research in Education (July, 2013)

“Virtue” – Hugh LaFollette, Sarah Stroud and John Deigh, eds., International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Alienated Emotions” – Carla Bagnoli, editor, Morality and the Emotions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, October 2011), 275-98.

“Two Pictures of Practical Thinking” – Lawrence Jost and Julian Wuerth, editors, Perfecting Virtue: New Essays on Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, February 2011), 116-146.

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

 “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.

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

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

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

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

“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.

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

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

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