Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (1):23-49 (2009)

I examine the Aristotelean conception of virtuous character as firm and unchangeable, a normative ideal endorsed in the currently influential, broadly Aristotelean school of thought known as 'virtue ethics'. Drawing on central concepts of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, I offer an account of how this ideal is supposed to be realized psychologically. I then consider present-day empirical findings about relevant psychological processes, with special attention to interpersonal processes. The empirical evidence suggests that over time, the same interpersonal processes that sometimes help to sustain character may also disrupt it, even among agents who have the right values in principle. Fortunately, the evidence also suggests some remedial measures. An important philosophical measure, I conclude, is for advocates of virtue ethics to address agents' psychological need for a systematic decision procedure that will focus attention primarily on substantive ethical considerations, rather than characterological assessment.
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DOI 10.1163/174552409X365919
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References found in this work BETA

Virtue Ethics.Julia Annas - 2006 - In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 515--536.
Virtue, Character and Situation.Jonathan Webber - 2006 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):193-213.
Character, Situationism, and Early Confucian Thought.Eric L. Hutton - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):37-58.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Psychology: Empirical Approaches.John Doris & Stephen Stich - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Study of Virtuous and Vicious Anger.Zac Cogley - 2014 - In Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd (eds.), Virtues and Their Vices. Oxford University Press. pp. 199.
Humble Trust.Jason D’Cruz - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):933-953.
Character, Attitude and Disposition.Jonathan Webber - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):1082-1096.
Instilling Virtue.Jonathan Webber - 2016 - In Alberto Masala & Jonathan Webber (eds.), From Personality to Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 134-154.

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