Philosophical Studies 142 (2):247-275 (2009)
AbstractThe 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
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Citations of this work
Vicious minds: Virtue epistemology, cognition, and skepticism.Lauren Olin & John M. Doris - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):665-692.
Identifying and Defending the Hard Core of Virtue Ethics.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:233-260.
Social Psychology, Mood, and Helping: Mixed Results for Virtue Ethics.Christian Miller - 2009 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):145-173.
Is There a Place for Epistemic Virtues in Theory Choice?Milena Ivanova - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Springer, Cham. pp. 207-226.
References found in this work
Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior.Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson - 1998 - Harvard University Press.
Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior.John M. Doris - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral Philosophy Meets Social Psychology: Virtue Ethics and the Fundamental Attribution Error.Gilbert Harman - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1999):315-331.