David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 142 (2):247-275 (2009)
The central virtue at issue in recent philosophical discussions of the empirical adequacy of virtue ethics has been the virtue of compassion. Opponents of virtue ethics such as Gilbert Harman and John Doris argue that experimental results from social psychology concerning helping behavior are best explained not by appealing to so-called ‘global’ character traits like compassion, but rather by appealing to external situational forces or, at best, to highly individualized ‘local’ character traits. In response, a number of philosophers have argued that virtue ethics can accommodate the empirical results in question. My own view is that neither side of this debate is looking in the right direction. For there is an impressive array of evidence from the social psychology literature which suggests that many people do possess one or more robust global character traits pertaining to helping others in need. But at the same time, such traits are noticeably different from a traditional virtue like compassion
|Keywords||Social psychology Harman Doris Empathy Character traits Altruism Helping Virtue ethics Virtue Compassion Batson Situationism|
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References found in this work BETA
Aristotle (2012). Nicomachean Ethics. Courier Dover Publications.
Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson (1998). Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. Harvard University Press.
John M. Doris (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
Gilbert Harman (1999). Moral Philosophy Meets Social Psychology: Virtue Ethics and the Fundamental Attribution Error. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1999):315-331.
Aristotle (2006). Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Lauren Olin & John M. Doris (2014). Vicious Minds. Philosophical Studies 168 (3):665-692.
Christian Miller (2009). Social Psychology, Mood, and Helping: Mixed Results for Virtue Ethics. Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):145-173.
T. J. Kasperbauer (2015). Rejecting Empathy for Animal Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):817-833.
James Bernard Murphy (2015). Does Habit Interference Explain Moral Failure? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):255-273.
Christian Miller (2011). Defining Empathy: Thoughts on Coplan's Approach. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):66-72.
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