Gabriele Taylor presents a philosophical investigation of the 'ordinary' vices traditionally seen as 'death to the soul': sloth, envy, avarice, pride, anger, lust, and gluttony. This complements recent work by moral philosophers on virtue, and opens up the neglected topic of the vices for further study. Whilst in a mild form the vices may be ordinary and common failings, Deadly Vices makes the case that for those wholly in their grip they are fatally
destructive, preventing the flourishing of the self and of a worthwhile life. An agent therefore has a powerful reason to avoid such states and dispositions and rather to cultivate those virtues that counteract a deadly vice.
In dealing with individual vices, their impact on the self, and their interrelation, Deadly Vices offers a unified account of the vices that not only encompasses the healing virtues but also engages with issues in the philosophy of mind as well as in moral philosophy, and shows the connection between them. Literary examples are used to highlight central features of individual vices and set them in context.
Gabriele Taylor is an Emeritus Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, where she was Senior Lecturer in Philosophy. She has contributed to several volumes in moral philosophy, including Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry (CUP, 1994) and How Should One Live? (Clarendon Press, 1996) and is the author of Pride, Shame, and Guilt: Emotions of Self-Assessment (Clarendon Press, 1985).