Journal of Value Inquiry:1-24 (forthcoming)

Daniel Coren
McMaster University
Using research in social psychology, philosophers such as Gilbert Harman and John Doris argue that human beings do not have – and cannot acquire – character traits such as virtues. Along with defenders of virtue ethics such as Julia Annas and Rachana Kamtekar, they assume that this constitutes a dangerous attack on virtue ethics. I argue that even if virtues and vices did not exist and everyone accepted that truth, (1) we would continue to make attributions of character traits in our ordinary practices and institutions and (2) it would still be useful to strategically harness – rather than suppress or ignore – our virtue (and vice) attributions.
Keywords Virtue ethics  Situationism  Virtue attribution  Vice attribution  Empirical psychology  Agency  Aristotelian virtue ethics  Aristotle
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-021-09828-8
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