In a critical scene deeply troubled by questions of justice and responsibility, and beset by political and moral scandals, no issue in recent years has been more urgent or more unsettled than the question of ethics. Geoffrey Galt Harpham, whose previous book, The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism, was one of the first to announce the critical renewal of ethics, attempts in this new book to explain why ethical questions resist settlement. He urges a new account of ethics not as a stable set of principles, values, or prescriptions, but as a variable factor of "imperativity" immanent in language, analysis, narrative, and creation. Through extended explorations of such subjects as the ambivalent position of "the other" in ethics, the relation between politics and ethics, the problem of "morality, " the entailment of ethics by language, the roles of pleasure and conversion, and the ethics of analysis, narrative, and creation, Harpham argues that ethics is best conceived not as a kind of philosophy or as a guide to action, but as a "conceptual base, " a hub or matrix from which various discourses, disciplines, or practices fan out and in which they meet--typically at the cost of their own theoretical coherence. This original and wide-ranging meditation argues persuasively for a sense of ethics underlying otherwise competing discourses. More profoundly perhaps than any recent book, Getting It Right suggests how the heterodox energies currently dividing the humanities might converge.