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  1. Saving Character.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):461-491.
    In his recent book Lack of Character, John Doris argues that people typically lack character (understood in a particular way). Such a claim, if correct, would have devastating implications for moral philosophy and for various human moral projects (e.g. character development). I seek to defend character against Doris's challenging attack. To accomplish this, I draw on Socrates, Aristotle, and Kant to identify some of the central components of virtuous character. Next, I examine in detail some of the central experiments in (...)
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  • Against Moral Character Evaluations: The Undetectability of Virtue and Vice.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2009 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):213 - 233.
    I defend the epistemic thesis that evaluations of people in terms of their moral character as good, bad, or intermediate are almost always epistemically unjustified. (1) Because most people are fragmented (they would behave deplorably in many and admirably in many other situations), one's prior probability that any given person is fragmented should be high. (2) Because one's information about specific people does not reliably distinguish those who are fragmented from those who are not, one's posterior probability that any given (...)
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  • Collective Epistemic Virtues.Reza Lahroodi - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):281 – 297.
    At the intersection of social and virtue epistemology lies the important, yet so far entirely neglected, project of articulating the social dimensions of epistemic virtues. Perhaps the most obvious way in which epistemic virtues might be social is that they may be possessed by social collectives. We often speak of groups as if they could instantiate epistemic virtues. It is tempting to think of these expressions as ascribing virtues not to the groups themselves, but to their members. Adapting Margaret Gilbert's (...)
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  • Aristotelian Moral Psychology and the Situationist Challenge.Adam M. Croom - 2015 - Polish Psychological Bulletin 46:262-277.
    For some time now moral psychologists and philosophers have ganged up on Aristotelians, arguing that results from psychological studies on the role of character-based and situation-based influences on human behavior have convincingly shown that situations rather than personal characteristics determine human behavior. In the literature on moral psychology and philosophy this challenge is commonly called the “situationist challenge,” and as Prinz has previously explained, it has largely been based on results from four salient studies in social psychology, including the studies (...)
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  • Social Psychology, Moral Character, and Moral Fallibility.Lorraine Besser-Jones - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):310–332.
    In recent years, there has been considerable debate in the literature concerning the existence of moral character. One lesson we should take away from these debates is that the concept of character, and the role it plays in guiding our actions, is far more complex than most of us initially took it to be. Just as Gilbert Harman, for example, makes a serious mistake in insisting, plainly and simply, that ther is no such thing as character, defenders of character also (...)
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  • Replies: Evidence and Sensibility.John M. Doris - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):656-677.
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  • Minor Tweaks, Major Payoffs: The Problems and Promise of Situationism in Moral Philosophy.Hagop Sarkissian - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10.
    Moral philosophers of late have been examining the implications of experimental social psychology for ethics. The focus of attention has been on situationism—the thesis that we routinely underestimate the extent to which minor situational variables influence morally significant behavior. Situationism has been seen as a threat to prevailing lay and philosophical theories of character, personhood, and agency. In this paper, I outline the situationist literature and critique one of its upshots: the admonition to carefully select one’s situational contexts. Besides being (...)
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  • Consistent Egoists and Situation Managers: Two Problems for Situationism.Pauline Kleingeld - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):344-361.
    According to philosophical “situationism”, psychological evidence shows that human action is typically best explained by the influence of situational factors and not by “global” and robust character traits of the agent. As a practical implication of their view, situationists recommend that efforts in moral education be shifted from character development to situation management. Much of the discussion has focused on whether global conceptions of virtue and character, and in particular Aristotelian virtue ethics, can be defended against the situationist challenge. After (...)
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  • Empirical Adequacy and Virtue Ethics.Philip A. Reed - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):343-357.
    Situationists contend that virtue ethics is empirically inadequate. However, it is my contention that there is much confusion over what “empirical adequacy” or “empirical inadequacy” actually means in this context. My aim in this paper is to clarify the meanings of empirical adequacy in order to see to what extent virtue ethics might fail to meet this standard. I argue that the situationists frequently misconstrue the empirical commitments of virtue ethics. More importantly, depending on what we mean by empirical adequacy, (...)
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  • Moral Progress and Canada's Climate Failure.Byron Williston - 2011 - Journal of Global Ethics 7 (2):149 - 160.
    In a recent letter to Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, British columnist and climate change gadfly George Monbiot pleaded with Canada to clean up its greenhouse gas emissions act. The letter appeared just a week before the Copenhagen climate conference. In it, Monbiot alleged that Canada's newly acquired status as oil superpower threatens to ?brutalize? the country, as it has other oil-rich countries (Monbiot, G. 2009. Please, Canada, clean up your act, The Globe and Mail, November 30, A15). (...)
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  • Are Past Normative Behaviors Predictive of Future Behavioral Intentions?Ram Madapulli, Robyn Berkley, Thomas Douglas, George W. Watson & Yuping Zeng - 2009 - Ethics and Behavior 19 (5):414-431.
    We acknowledge the limitations in measures of moral reasoning and pursue an alternative technique by investigating past behaviors as they relate to present behavioral intentions. Our purpose is to evaluate the merits of patterned normative behavior for predicting present and future, morally relevant outcomes. Participants completed a policy capturing experimental design responding to questions that orthogonally varied the situational nature of the decision context. Results indicate that past normative behaviors are significantly and directly related to ethical behavioral intentions. Moreover, they (...)
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  • Situationism, Responsibility, and Fair Opportunity.David O. Brink - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy (1-2):121-149.
    The situationist literature in psychology claims that conduct is not determined by character and reflects the operation of the agent’s situation or environment. For instance, due to situational factors, compassionate behavior is much less common than we might have expected from people we believe to be compassionate. This article focuses on whether situationism should revise our beliefs about moral responsibility. It assesses situationism’s implications against the backdrop of a conception of responsibility that is grounded in norms about the fair opportunity (...)
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  • Situationism, Responsibility, and Fair Opportunity.David O. Brink - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):121-149.
    The situationist literature in psychology claims that conduct is not determined by character and reflects the operation of the agent's situation or environment. For instance, due to situational factors, compassionate behavior is much less common than we might have expected from people we believe to be compassionate. This article focuses on whether situationism should revise our beliefs about moral responsibility. It assesses the implications of situationism against the backdrop of a conception of responsibility that is grounded in norms about the (...)
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  • Answering the Situationist Challenge: A Defense of Virtue Ethics as Preferable to Other Ethical Theories.Michelle Ciurria - 2014 - Dialogue 53 (4):651-670.
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  • Self-Deception as Pretense.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):231 - 258.
    I propose that paradigmatic cases of self-deception satisfy the following conditions: (a) the person who is self-deceived about not-P pretends (in the sense of makes-believe or imagines or fantasizes) that not-P is the case, often while believing that P is the case and not believing that not-P is the case; (b) the pretense that not-P largely plays the role normally played by belief in terms of (i) introspective vivacity and (ii) motivation of action in a wide range of circumstances. Understanding (...)
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  • Virtue in Virtue Ethics.Joel J. Kupperman - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):243-255.
    This paper represents two polemics. One is against suggestions (made by Harman and others) that recent psychological research counts against any claim that there is such a thing as genuine virtue (Cf. Harman, in: Byrne, Stalnaker, Wedgwood (eds.) Fact and value, pp 117–127, 2001 ). The other is against the view that virtue ethics should be seen as competing against such theories as Kantian ethics or consequentialism, particularly in the specification of decision procedures.
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  • The Normativity Challenge: Cultural Psychology Provides the Real Threat to Virtue Ethics.Jesse Prinz - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):117-144.
    Situationists argue that virtue ethics is empirically untenable, since traditional virtue ethicists postulate broad, efficacious character traits, and social psychology suggests that such traits do not exist. I argue that prominent philosophical replies to this challenge do not succeed. But cross-cultural research gives reason to postulate character traits, and this undermines the situationist critique. There is, however, another empirical challenge to virtue ethics that is harder to escape. Character traits are culturally informed, as are our ideals of what traits are (...)
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  • Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology: The Situationism Debate.Candace L. Upton - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):103-115.
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  • Disunity of Virtue.Gopal Sreenivasan - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):195-212.
    This paper argues against the unity of the virtues, while trying to salvage some of its attractive aspects. I focus on the strongest argument for the unity thesis, which begins from the premise that true virtue cannot lead its possessor morally astray. I suggest that this premise presupposes the possibility of completely insulating an agent’s set of virtues from any liability to moral error. I then distinguish three conditions that separately foreclose this possibility, concentrating on the proposition that there is (...)
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  • The Structure of Character.Candace L. Upton - 2009 - Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):175-193.
    In this paper, I defend a local account of character traits that posits traits like close-friend-honesty and good-mood-compassion. John Doris also defends local character traits, but his local character traits are indistinguishable from mere behavioral dispositions, they are not necessary for the purpose which allegedly justifies them, and their justification is only contingent, depending upon the prevailing empirical situation. The account of local traits I defend posits local traits that are traits of character rather than behavioral dispositions, local traits that (...)
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  • Reply to Justin D’Arms.Peter Railton - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 126 (3):481-490.
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  • Does Habit Interference Explain Moral Failure?James Bernard Murphy - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):255-273.
    Social psychologists have performed many well-known experiments demonstrating that experimental subjects will perform in ways that are normatively inconsistent even across very similar situations. Situationist social psychologists and philosophers have often interpreted these findings to imply that most people lack general moral dispositions. These situationists have argued that our moral dispositions are at best narrowly local traits; they often describe our moral characters as fragmented. In this paper, I offer an alternative hypothesis for the same experimental results. I argue that (...)
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  • Heated Agreement: Lack of Character as Being for the Good.John M. Doris - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (1):135-146.
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  • Diagnosing True Virtue? Remote Scenarios, Warranted Virtue Attributions, and Virtuous Medical Practice.Justin Oakley - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (1):85-96.
    Immanuel Kant argues in the Foundations that remote scenarios are diagnostic of genuine virtue. When agents commonly thought to have a particular virtue fail to exhibit that virtue in an extreme situation, he argues, they do not truly have the virtue at all, and our propensities to fail in such ways indicate that true virtue might never have existed. Kant’s suggestion that failure to show, say, courage in extraordinary circumstances necessarily silences one’s claim to have genuine courage seems to rely (...)
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  • Vicious Minds.Lauren Olin & John M. Doris - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):665-692.
    While there is now considerable anxiety about whether the psychological theory presupposed by virtue ethics is empirically sustainable, analogous issues have received little attention in the virtue epistemology literature. This paper argues that virtue epistemology encounters challenges reminiscent of those recently encountered by virtue ethics: just as seemingly trivial variation in context provokes unsettling variation in patterns of moral behavior, trivial variation in context elicits unsettling variation in patterns of cognitive functioning. Insofar as reliability is a condition on epistemic virtue, (...)
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  • Situationism, Going Mental, and Modal Akrasia.Dylan Murray - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):711-736.
    Virtue ethics prescribes cultivating global and behaviorally efficacious character traits, but John Doris and others argue that situationist social psychology shows this to be infeasible. Here, I show how certain versions of virtue ethics that ‘go mental’ can withstand this challenge as well as Doris’ further objections. The defense turns on an account of which psychological materials constitute character traits and which the situationist research shows to be problematically variable. Many situationist results may be driven by impulsive akrasia produced by (...)
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  • Situationism Versus Situationism.Travis J. Rodgers & Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):9-26.
    Most discussions of John Doris’s situationism center on what can be called descriptive situationism, the claim that our folk usage of global personality and character traits in describing and predicting human behavior is empirically unsupported. Philosophers have not yet paid much attention to another central claim of situationism, which says that given that local traits are empirically supported, we can more successfully act in line with our moral values if, in our deliberation about what to do, we focus on our (...)
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