A contextual account of character traits

Philosophical Studies 122 (2):133 - 151 (2005)
Character traits have several vital functions. They should enable us to assess others morally, inform us of others’ behavioral tendencies, and accurately explain and predict others’ behavior. But traits of character, as they have traditionally been understood, cannot adequately serve these purposes. For character traits are traditionally thought to be context-insensitive. The Contextual Account of Character Traits, which I here develop and defend, posits traits that are context-sensitive. Context-sensitive character traits are more receptive to the complexity of human psychology and behavior and, hence, they not only adequately, but excellently, satisfy their theoretic and pragmatic functions.
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DOI 10.2307/4321549
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References found in this work BETA
William K. Frankena (1973). Ethics. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Alan Gewirth (1978). Reason and Morality. University of Chicago Press.
Richard B. Brandt (1970). Traits of Character: A Conceptual Analysis. American Philosophical Quarterly 7 (1):23 - 37.

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Citations of this work BETA
Joel J. Kupperman (2009). Virtue in Virtue Ethics. Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):243 - 255.

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