David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy 76 (2):239-250 (2001)
Gilbert Harman has argued that it does not make sense to ascribe character traits to people. The notion of morally virtuous character becomes particularly suspect. How plausible this is depends on how broad character traits would have to be. Views of character as entirely invariant behavioural tendencies offer a soft target. This paper explores a view that is a less easy target: character traits as specific to kinds of situation, and as involving probabilities or real possibilities. Such ascriptions are not undermined by Harman's arguments, and it remains plausible that the agent's character often is indispensable in explanation of behaviour. Character is indispensable also as processes of control that impose reliability where it really matters.
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Citations of this work BETA
Peter B. M. Vranas (2005). The Indeterminacy Paradox: Character Evaluations and Human Psychology. Noûs 39 (1):1–42.
John M. Doris (2009). Skepticism About Persons. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):57-91.
Lauren Olin & John M. Doris (2014). Vicious Minds. Philosophical Studies 168 (3):665-692.
Miguel Alzola (2008). Character and Environment: The Status of Virtues in Organizations. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 78 (3):343 - 357.
Robert C. Solomon (2005). What's Character Got to Do with It? [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):648–655.
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