Knowing What To Do

Knowing What To Do : Imagination, Virtue, and Platonism in Ethics

4 (1 rating by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 8-11 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


Sophie Grace Chappell develops a picture of what philosophical ethics can be like, once set aside from the idealising and reductive pressures of conventional moral theory. Her question is 'How are we to know what to do?', and the answer she defends is 'By developing our moral imaginations'. The series of studies presented in Knowing What To Do contribute to the case that the moral imagination is a key part of human excellence or virtue by showing that it
plays a wide variety of roles in our practical and evaluative lives. There is no short-cut or formulaic way of knowing what to do; but the longer and more painstaking approach is more rewarding anyway. This approach involves developing our repertoire of natural human capacities for imagination, open
deliberation, and contemplative attention to the world, the people, and the reality of value around us.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 19mm | 532g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198798857
  • 9780198798859
  • 1,621,078

Table of contents

1: What makes a good decision?
2: Three kinds of moral imagination
3: Intuition, system, and the 'paradox' of deontology
4: Impartial benevolence and partial love
5: Internal reasons and the heart's desire
6: On the very idea of criteria for personhood
7: Glory as an ethical idea
8: Nobility and beauty in ethics
9: Moral certainties
10: Why ethics is hard
11: The varieties of knowledge in Plato and Aristotle
12: Platonistic virtue ethics
show more

Review quote

The book must be praised as an inspiring expression of an ethical vision with deep historical roots and urgent contemporary relevance . . . Timothy Chappell's book is itself an ethical exemplar, a study in the contemplation of value, a testament to ordinary goodness. Event those who disagree must contemplate his arguments; since "if we can't see individual specific things, we can't see anything at all." * Luke Brunning, The Times Literary Supplement * Knowing What to Do is an excellent book: the clear prose and application of literature, philosophy, and history make it an enjoyable read. This book appeals to nonspecialists and specialists alike. The focus of this book is mostly on metaethics and normative ethics, but it also concerns areas in applied ethics, such as environmental ethics and biomedical ethics, as well as epistemology. Additionally, anyone interested in issues concerning philosophical
methodology will find this book useful. * Nicholas R. Baima, Ethics * A book that frequently challenges the conventional expectations of a philosophy research monograph . . . his non-conventional approach not only serves to illuminate important aspects of moral thought that normally receive little or no attention in systematic moral theory, but also helps to support the claim that these are aspects of moral thought that moral philosophers may want to say more about. * Hallvard Lillehammer, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * a version of ethics which could deliver the discipline from the tyranny of theory . . . Imagination plays a large role in Chappell's own presentation, and this is one of the many delights for the reader . . . If knowing what to do, knowing what is required to live well, is a real concern of yours, then this book is a valuable asset for your search. It should lead to a revision of the teaching of ethics in higher education. * Patrick Riordan, Heythrop Journa *
show more

About Sophie Grace Chappell

Sophie Grace Chappell is the author of numerous books and articles on ethics, ancient philosophy, epistemology, and philosophy of religion. She has taught at universities including the University of Oxford, the University of British Columbia, the University of East Anglia, and the University of Manchester. Since 2006 she has been Professor of Philosophy at The Open University.
show more

Rating details

1 rating
4 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 100% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X