e-Duke Books

A Theory of Regret

By Brian Price

In A Theory of Regret Brian Price contends that regret is better understood as an important political emotion than as a form of weakness. Price shows how regret allows us to see that our convictions are more often the products of our perceptual habits than the authentic signs of moral courage that we more regularly take them to be. Regret teaches us to give up our expectations of what we think should or might occur in the future, and also the idea that what we think we should do will always be the right thing to do. Understood instead as a mode of thoughtfulness, regret helps us to clarify our will in relation to the decisions we make within institutional forms of existence. Considering regret in relation to emancipatory theories of thinking, Price shows how the unconditionally transformative nature of this emotion helps us become more sensitive to contingency and allows us, in turn, to recognize the steps we can take toward changing the institutions that shape our lives.

Bibliographic Information

A Theory of Regret
  • Brian Price
Copyright year: 
  • 2017
ISBN electronic: 
ISBN cloth: 
ISBN paper: 

Author Bio

  • Brian Price is Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Studies and the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, the author of Neither God nor Master: Robert Bresson and Radical Politics, and coeditor of Color, the Film Reader, and On Michael Haneke. He is also a founding coeditor of World Picture.

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