Valerie Tiberius

Wisdom RFP Grant Recipient
Associate Professor, Philosophy

University of Minnesota

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My research interests are in ethics, and meta-ethics, and moral psychology. My earlier published work aimed to articulate a naturalized account of practical reason and to defend a Humean account of normativity that explains the authority of naturalized norms. More recently, I have been working on well-being, the good life, and wisdom. These interests, and my general naturalist inclinations, have led me to be interested in the relationship between empirical psychology and philosophical accounts of the good life and virtue. My new book, The Reflective Life, aims to characterize the kind of wisdom that allows us to live a good life from our own point of view in light of recent findings in psychology about the limits of our rational powers.

Defining Wisdom Project Description

The articulation of an interdisciplinary methodology for defining wisdom is the most important result of this project. The proposed methodology begins with psychological research on the folk theory of wisdom. The folk theory is elaborated in light of theoretical desiderata and further empirical research on human rational capacities. This methodology is an updated version of Aristotle’s method for arriving at ethical conclusions and the resulting theory of practical wisdom is Aristotelian in spirit, though not in detail. A central question for future research is about the relationship between values and wisdom. Aristotle could presume widely shared agreement about some values. What should contemporary wisdom theorists do if such a presumption is no longer warranted?

Recent Publications
The Reflective Life: Living Wisely with Our Limits
Tiberius, Valerie. The Reflective Life: Living Wisely with Our Limits, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Valerie Tiberius is a Defining Wisdom RFP grant recipient. Her project, in addition to her new book, is about the psychological bases of reflective wisdom. What can we do to live life wisely? You might think that the answer would be to think and reflect...
Virtue and Practical Deliberation
Tiberius, Valerie. "Virtue and Practical Deliberation," Philosophical Studies, Volume 111, No. 2, November 2002, pp. 147-72. The question of how to reason well is an important normative question, one which ultimately motivates some of our interest in the more abstract topic of the principles of practical reason. It is this normative question that I propose to address by arguing...
Practical Reason and the Stability Standard
Tiberius, Valerie. "Practical Reason and the Stability Standard," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Volume 5, No. 3, September 2002, pp. 339-54. Practical reasoning, reasoning about what to do, is a very familiar activity. When we think about whether to cook or to go out for dinner, to buy a house or rent, or to study law or business, we are engaged in practical reasoning. If the kind of reasoning...
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University of Minnesota

Current Position

Associate Professor, Philosophy

Highest Degree

Ph.D. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 1997

Research Interests

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