Anthropologists have sustained a varied and active engagement with ethics throughout the field's history. In light of this long-standing engagement, what marks the distinctiveness of the current ethical turn? To think in Foucauldian terms, ethics/morality now looms large precisely because it has been problematized. Although there has been a recent outpouring of work on ethics, and a widely shared concern to move beyond overly collectivist accounts, much is nascent. Debates and schools of thought are still emerging. In this review article, we explore several resonate streams of disquiet or inspiration within the discipline that have generated new lines of inquiry. These include () emerging debates and confusion around the use of basic terms such as “ethics” and “morality” and their role in debates over ordinary ethics, () articulations of an anthropological virtue ethics (and the Foucault effect), () increasingly sophisticated treatments of moral experience informed by philosophical phenomenology, and () reinvigorated considerations of the political as connected to ethical life.


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