The normativity challenge: Cultural psychology provides the real threat to virtue ethics [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):117 - 144 (2009)
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 virtuous, and our ideals of what qualifies as well-being. If virtues and well-being are culturally constructed ideals, then the standard strategy for grounding the normativity of virtue ethics in human nature is undermined.
|Keywords||Culture Normativity Personality Self concepts Situationism Virtue ethics Well-being|
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References found in this work BETA
Martha Nussbaum (2001). Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge University Press.
John M. Doris (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
Jesse J. Prinz (2007). The Emotional Construction of Morals. Oxford University Press.
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1981). Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Dylan Murray (2015). Situationism, Going Mental, and Modal Akrasia. Philosophical Studies 172 (3):711-736.
Duncan Pritchard (2013). Epistemic Virtue and the Epistemology of Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (2):236-247.
Philip A. Reed (forthcoming). Empirical Adequacy and Virtue Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
James Bernard Murphy (2015). Does Habit Interference Explain Moral Failure? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):255-273.
Kristján Kristjánsson (2012). Situationism and the Concept of a Situation. European Journal of Philosophy 20 (S1):E52-E72.
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