What is consciousness? How does the subjective character of consciousness fit into an objective world? How can there be a science of consciousness? In this sequel to his groundbreaking and controversial The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers develops a unified framework that addresses these questions and many others. Starting with a statement of the "hard problem" of consciousness, Chalmers builds a positive framework for the science of consciousness and a nonreductive vision of the metaphysics of consciousness. He replies to many (...) critics of The Conscious Mind, and then develops a positive theory in new directions. The book includes original accounts of how we think and know about consciousness, of the unity of consciousness, and of how consciousness relates to the external world. Along the way, Chalmers develops many provocative ideas: the " consciousness meter", the Garden of Eden as a model of perceptual experience, and The Matrix as a guide to the deepest philosophical problems about consciousness and the external world. This book will be required reading for anyone interested in the problems of mind, brain, consciousness, and reality. (shrink)
The goal of this book is to develop a new framework for thinking about what moral character looks like today. My central claim will be that most people have moral character traits, but at the same time they do not have either the traditional ...
This book first reviews Miller's theory of Mixed Traits, as developed in his 2013 book Moral Character: An Empirical Theory. It then engages extensively with situations, the CAPS model in social psychology, and the Big Five Model in personality psychology. It ends by taking up implications for his view in meta-ethics (a modified error theory) and normative ethics (a challenge for virtue ethics).
Everyone wants to be virtuous, but recent psychological investigations suggest that this may not be possible. Mark Alfano challenges this theory and asks, not whether character is empirically adequate, but what characters human beings could have and develop. Although psychology suggests that most people do not have robust character traits such as courage, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have reason to attribute these virtues to people because such attributions function as self-fulfilling prophecies - children become more (...) studious if they are told that they are hard-working and adults become more generous if they are told that they are generous. He argues that we should think of virtue and character as social constructs: there is no such thing as virtue without social reinforcement. His original and provocative book will interest a wide range of readers in contemporary ethics, epistemology, moral psychology and empirically informed philosophy. (shrink)
This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
Some of philosophy's most central concepts, including art, friendship, and happiness, have been argued to be dual character concepts. Their main characteristic is that they encode not only a descriptive dimension but also an independent normative dimension for categorization. This article introduces the class of dual character concepts and discusses various accounts of their content and structure. A specific focus will be placed on their relation to two other classes of concepts, thick concepts and natural kind concepts. The (...) study of dual character concepts not only demonstrates that a wide range of concepts is inherently normative, but it also reveals new possibilities for investigating gender biases, generics, and social roles. (shrink)
Traditionally, theories of mindreading have focused on the representation of beliefs and desires. However, decades of social psychology and social neuroscience have shown that, in addition to reasoning about beliefs and desires, human beings also use representations of character traits to predict and interpret behavior. While a few recent accounts have attempted to accommodate these findings, they have not succeeded in explaining the relation between trait attribution and belief-desire reasoning. On my account, character-trait attribution is part of a (...) hierarchical system for action prediction, and serves to inform hypotheses about agents’ beliefs and desires, which are in turn used to predict and interpret behavior. (shrink)
If there are no fictional characters, how do we explain thought and discourse apparently about them? If there are, what are they like? A growing number of philosophers claim that fictional characters are abstract objects akin to novels or plots. They argue that postulating characters provides the most straightforward explanation of our literary practices as well as a uniform account of discourse and thought about fiction. Anti-realists counter that postulation is neither necessary nor straightforward, and that the invocation of pretense (...) provides a better account of the same phenomena. I outline and assess these competing theories. (shrink)
This book is a provocative contribution to contemporary ethical theory challenging foundational conceptions of character that date back to Aristotle. John Doris draws on behavioral science, especially social psychology, to argue that we misattribute the causes of behavior to personality traits and other fixed aspects of character rather than to the situational context. More often than not it is the situation not the nature of the personality that really counts. The author elaborates the philosophical consequences of this research (...) for a whole array of ethical theories and shows that, once rid of the misleading conception of motivation, moral psychology can support more robust ethical theories and more humane ethical practices. (shrink)
The law of gravitation, an example of physical law The relation of mathematics to physics The great conservation principles Symmetry in physical law The distinction of past and future Probability and uncertainty: the quantum mechanical view of nature Seeking new laws.
We often speak of a person's character--good or bad, strong or weak--and think of it as a guide to how that person will behave in a given situation. Oddly, however, philosophers writing about ethics have had virtually nothing to say about the role of character in ethical behavior. What is character? How does it relate to having a self, or to the process of moral decision? Are we responsible for our characters? Character answers these questions, and (...) goes on to examine the place of character in ethical philosophy. Both the Kantian and utilitarian traditions, Kupperman argues, have largely ignored the ways in which decisions are integrated over time, and instead provide a "snapshot" model of moral decision. Kupperman demonstrates the deficiencies of a number of classic and contemporary ethical theories that do not take account of the idea of character, and offers his own character-based theory. Along the way he touches on such subjects as personal identity, the importance of happiness, moral education, and the definition of a valuable life. (shrink)
Our goal in this paper is to articulate a novel account of the ordinary concept ART. At the core of our account is the idea that a puzzle surrounding our thought and talk about art is best understood as just one instance of a far broader phenomenon. In particular, we claim that one can make progress on this puzzle by drawing on research from cognitive science on dual character concepts. Thus, we suggest that the very same sort of phenomenon (...) that is associated with ART can also be found in a broad class of other dual character concepts, including SCIENTIST, CHRISTIAN, GANGSTER, and many others. Instead of focusing narrowly on the case of ART, we try to offer a more general account of these concepts and the puzzles to which they give rise. Then, drawing on the general theory, we introduce a series of hypotheses about art concepts, and put those hypotheses to the test in three experimental studies. (shrink)
Virtue ethics has often been regarded as complementary or laissez-faire ethics in solving business problems. This paper seeks conceptual and methodological improvements by developing a virtue character scale that will enable assessment of the link between organizational level virtue and organizational performance, financial or non-financial. Based upon three theoretical assumptions, multiple studies were conducted; the content analysis of 158 Fortune Global 500 firms ethical values and a survey of 2548 customers and employees. Six dimensions of organizational virtue (Integrity, Empathy, (...) Warmth, Courage, Conscientiousness and Zeal) are identified through confirmatory factor analysis, and validated against satisfaction measure. Strategic implications of virtue characters are discussed. (shrink)
We like to think of ourselves, our friends, and our families as decent people. We may not be saints, but we are still honest, relatively kind, and mostly trustworthy. Miller argues here that we are badly mistaken in thinking this. Hundreds of recent studies in psychology tell a different story: that we all have serious character flaws that prevent us from being as good as we think we are - and that we do not even recognize that these flaws (...) exist. But neither are most of us cruel or dishonest. Instead, Miller argues, we are a mixed bag. On the one hand, most of us in a group of bystanders will do nothing as someone cries out for help in an emergency. Yet it is also true that there will be many times when we will selflessly come to the aid of a complete stranger - and resist the urge to lie, cheat, or steal even if we could get away with it. Much depends on cues in our social environment. Miller uses this recent psychological literature to explain what the notion of "character" really means today, and how we can use this new understanding to develop a character better in sync with the kind of people we want to be. (shrink)
The concepts expressed by social role terms such as artist and scientist are unique in that they seem to allow two independent criteria for categorization, one of which is inherently normative. This study presents and tests an account of the content and structure of the normative dimension of these “dual character concepts.” Experiment 1 suggests that the normative dimension of a social role concept represents the commitment to fulfill the idealized basic function associated with the role. Background information can (...) affect which basic function is associated with each social role. However, Experiment 2 indicates that the normative dimension always represents the relevant commitment as an end in itself. We argue that social role concepts represent the commitments to basic functions because that information is crucial to predict the future social roles and role-dependent behavior of others. (shrink)
Using evidence from experimental psychology, some social psychologists, moral philosophers and organizational scholars claim that character traits do not exist and, hence, that the philosophical tradition of virtue ethics is empirically inadequate and should dispose of the notion of character to accommodate the empirical evidence. In this paper, I systematically address the debate between dispositionalists and situationists about the existence, status and properties of character traits and their manifestations in human behavior, with the ultimate goal of responding (...) to the question whether virtue ethicists need to abandon the very enterprise of building a character-based moral theory in business ethics and organizational behavior. In the course of this paper, I shall defend the claim that the situationist argument relies on a misinterpretation of the experimental evidence. (shrink)
This paper examines the claim made by certain virtue epistemologists that intellectual character virtues like fair-mindedness, open-mindedness and intellectual courage merit an important and fundamental role in epistemology. I begin by considering whether these traits merit an important role in the analysis of knowledge. I argue that they do not and that in fact they are unlikely to be of much relevance to any of the traditional problems in epistemology. This presents a serious challenge for virtue epistemology. I go (...) on to examine the work of two other virtue epistemologists in light of this challenge and then sketch an alternative approach that reveals how the intellectual virtues might merit a substantial role in epistemology even if not a role in connection with more traditional epistemological projects. (shrink)
Philosophers have recently argued that traditional discussions of virtue and character presuppose an account of behaviour that experimental psychology has shown to be false. Behaviour does not issue from global traits such as prudence, temperance, courage or fairness, they claim, but from local traits such as sailing-in-rough-weather-with-friends-courage and office-party-temperance. The data employed provides evidence for this view only if we understand it in the light of a behaviourist construal of traits in terms of stimulus and response, rather than in (...) the light of the more traditional construal in terms of inner events such as inclinations. More recent experiments have shown this traditional conception to have greater explanatory and predictive power than its behaviourist rival. So we should retain the traditional conception, and hence reject the proposed alteration to our understanding of behaviour. This discussion has further implications for future philosophical investigations of character and virtue. Key Words: character traits • situationism • social psychology • virtue ethics. (shrink)
Standard characterizations of virtue epistemology divide the field into two camps: virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism. Virtue reliabilists think of intellectual virtues as reliable cognitive faculties or abilities, while virtue responsibilists conceive of them as good intellectual character traits. I argue that responsibilist character virtues sometimes satisfy the conditions of a reliabilist conception of intellectual virtue, and that consequently virtue reliabilists, and reliabilists in general, must pay closer attention to matters of intellectual character. This leads to several (...) new questions and (...) challenges for any reliabilist epistemology. (shrink)
This volume of original essays addresses a range of issues concerning the responsibility individuals have for their actions and for their characters. Among the central questions considered are the following: What scope is there for regarding a person as responsible for his or her character given genetic and environmental factors? Does an account of responsibility provide a legitimate basis for the retributive emotions? Are we ever justified in feeling guilty for occurences over which we have no control? Does responsibility (...) for the consequences of our acts require that they were intended or simply expected? How have a number of influential previous philosophers, including Aristotle, Maimonides, and Spinoza, approached these questions? (shrink)
My goal is to reflect on the phenomenon of inadvertent creation and argue that—various objections to the contrary—it doesn’t undermine the view that fictional characters are abstract artifacts. My starting point is a recent challenge by Jeffrey Goodman that is originally posed for those who hold that fictional characters and mythical objects alike are abstract artifacts. The challenge: if we think that astronomers like Le Verrier, in mistakenly hypothesizing the planet Vulcan, inadvertently created an abstract artifact, then the “inadvertent creation” (...) element turns out to be inescapable yet theoretically unattractive. Based on considerations about actually existing concrete objects featured in fictional works (as Napoleon is in Tolstoy’s War and Peace), I argue that independently of one’s stand on mythical objects, admitting fictional characters as abstract artifacts is enough to give rise to the challenge at hand; yet this very point serves to undermine the challenge, indicating that inadvertent creation is not nearly as worrisome as Goodman suggests. Indeed, the inadvertent creation phenomenon’s generality extends far beyond objects of fiction and myth, and I will use this observation to counter a further objection. Taking fictional characters (and mythical objects) to be abstract artifacts therefore remains a viable option. (shrink)
Are there key respects in which character and character defects are voluntary? Can agents with serious vices be rational agents? Jonathan Jacobs answers in the affirmative. Moral character is shaped through voluntary habits, including the ways we habituate ourselves, Jacobs believes. Just as individuals can voluntarily lead unhappy lives without making unhappiness an end, so can they degrade their ethical characters through voluntary action that does not have establishment of vice as its end. Choosing Character presents (...) an account of ethical disability, expanding the domain of responsibility and explicating the role of character in ethical cognition. Jacobs contends that agents become ethically disabled voluntarily when their habits impair their ability to properly appreciate ethical considerations. Such agents are rational, responsible individuals who are yet incapable of virtuous action. The view develops and modifies Aristotelian claims concerning the fixity of character. Jacobs' interpretation is developed in contrast to the overlooked work of Maimonides, who also used Aristotelian resources but argued for the possibility of character change. The notion of ethical disability has profound ramifications for ethics and for current debates about blame and punishment. (shrink)
Virtue ethics is now widely recognized as an alternative to Kantian and consequentialist ethical theories. However, moral philosophers have been slow to bring virtue ethics to bear on topics in applied ethics. Moreover, environmental virtue ethics is an underdeveloped area of environmental ethics. Although environmental ethicists often employ virtue-oriented evaluation and appeal to role models for guidance, environmental ethics has not been well informed by contemporary work on virtue ethics. With _Character and Environment_, Ronald Sandler remedies each of these deficiencies (...) by bringing together contemporary work on virtue ethics with contemporary work on environmental ethics. He demonstrates the many ways that any ethic of character can and should be informed by environmental considerations. He also develops a pluralistic virtue-oriented environmental ethic that accommodates the richness and complexity of our relationship with the natural environment and provides effective and nuanced guidance on environmental issues. These projects have implications not only for environmental ethics and virtue ethics but also for moral philosophy more broadly. Ethical theories must be assessed on their theoretical and practical adequacy with respect to all aspects of the human ethical situation: personal, interpersonal, and environmental. To the extent that virtue-oriented ethical theory in general, and Sandler's version of it in particular, provides a superior environmental ethic to other ethical theories, it is to be preferred not just as an environmental ethic but also as an ethical theory. _Character and Environment_ will engage any reader with an interest in environmental ethics, virtue ethics, or moral philosophy. (shrink)
Character education in schools has been high on the UK political agenda for the last few years. The government has invested millions in grants to support character education projects and declared its intention to make Britain a global leader in teaching character and resilience. But the policy has many critics: some question whether schools should be involved in the formation of character at all; others worry that the traits schools are being asked to cultivate are excessively (...) competitive or military. In this pamphlet Randall Curren sets out a robust defence of character education. He welcomes the political support it presently enjoys, but contends that greater clarity about the nature, benefits and acquisition of good character is essential. In particular, he argues that too narrow a focus on traits like perseverance and resilience is a serious mistake: these traits are only virtues when they are part of a wider set of moral and intellectual qualities, and when their exercise is guided by good judgment. Curren offers us a compelling and coherent account of what good character is and how it might be cultivated in schools. He explains why schools must be needs-supporting environments that provide students with opportunities to engage in rewarding activity, and why cultivating good character implies promoting the ‘fundamental British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance. His groundbreaking pamphlet promises to expand the scope and strengthen the foundations of character education in British schools, and should go a long way towards allaying the fears of its detractors. (shrink)
Five experiments provide evidence for a class of ‘dual character concepts.’ Dual character concepts characterize their members in terms of both (a) a set of concrete features and (b) the abstract values that these features serve to realize. As such, these concepts provide two bases for evaluating category members and two different criteria for category membership. Experiment 1 provides support for the notion that dual character concepts have two bases for evaluation. Experiments 2-4 explore the claim that (...) dual character concepts have two different criteria for category membership. The results show that when an object possesses the appropriate concrete features, but does not fulfill the appropriate abstract value, it is judged to be a category member in one sense but not in another. Finally, Experiment 5 uses the theory developed here to construct artificial dual character concepts and examines whether participants react to these artificial concepts in the same way as naturally occurring dual character concepts. The present studies serve to define the nature of dual character concepts and distinguish them from other types of concepts (e.g., natural kind concepts), which share some, but not all of the properties of dual character concepts. More broadly, these phenomena suggest a normative dimension in everyday conceptual representation. (shrink)
This paper is a further development of two previous pieces of work in which modern virtue ethics, and in particular MacIntyre’s related notions of “practice” and “institution,” have been explored in the context of business. It first introduces and defines the concept of corporate character and seeks to establish why it is important. It then reviews MacIntyre’s virtues-practice-institution schema and the implications of this at the level of the institution in question—the corporation—and argues that the concept of corporate (...) class='Hi'>character follows from, but is a novel development of, MacIntyre’s schema. The paper contrasts corporate character and virtues with the more familiar concepts of corporate culture and values. The constitutive and substantive elementsof corporate character, including the essential corporate virtues, are then drawn out and illustrated with reference to the cases explored in Koehn . Finally, the paper acknowledges and counters a specific criticism of this approach. (shrink)
Solomon argues that, although recent research in social psychology has important implications for business ethics, it doesnot undermine an approach that stresses virtue ethics. However, he underestimates the empirical threat to virtue ethics, and his a prioriclaim that empirical research cannot overturn our ordinary moral psychology is overstated. His appeal to seemingly obvious differencesin character traits between people simply illustrates the fundamental attribution error. His suggestion that the Milgram and Darley andBatson experiments have to do with such character (...) traits as obedience and punctuality cannot help to explain the relevant differencesin the way people behave in different situations. His appeal to personality theory fails, because, as an intellectual academic discipline,personality theory is in shambles, mainly because it has been concerned with conceptions of personality rather than with what is trueabout personality. Solomon’s rejection of Doris’s claims about the fragmentation of character is at odds with the received view in socialpsychology. Finally, he is mistaken to think that rejecting virtue ethics implies rejecting free will and moral responsibility. (shrink)
" Because characters and the conception of characters are central to all studies of evolution, and because evolution is the central organizing principle of biology, this book will appeal to a wide cross-section of biologists.
This paper extends previous discussions of corporate character and corporate virtues. By drawing particularly on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, it offers a perspective on context-dependent categories of the virtues. It then provides a philosophically grounded framework which enables a discussion of which virtues are required for business organizations to qualify as virtuous. It offers a preliminary taxonomy of such corporate virtues and provides a revised definition of corporate character.
Qualities of personal character would appear to play a significant role in the professional conduct of teachers. It is often said that we remember teachers as much for the kinds of people they were than for anything they may have taught us, and some kinds of professional expertise may best be understood as qualities of character After (roughly) distinguishing qualities of character from those of personality, the present paper draws on the resources of virtue ethics to try (...) to make sense of the former. In the course of this, it is argued that while the key virtue ethical concept of phronesis orpractical wisdom has been widely deployed to account for aspects of professional teacher expertise, it has also been subject to rather un-Aristotelian interpretation as a kind of situation specific productive reasoning. The present paper seeks to show that it is better employed for understanding character in general and character in teaching in particular. The paper concludes with some observations about the professional education or cultivation of character. (shrink)
Experiences, by definition, have phenomenal character. But many experiences have a specific type of phenomenal character: presentational character. While both visual experience and conscious thought make us aware of their objects, only in visual experience do objects seem present before the mind and available for direct access. I argue that Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theories of consciousness have a particularly steep hill to climb in accommodating presentational character.
This paper is a further development of two previous pieces of work (Moore 2002, 2005) in which modern virtue ethics, and in particular MacIntyre’s (1985) related notions of “practice” and “institution,” have been explored in the context of business. It first introduces and defines the concept of corporate character and seeks to establish why it is important. It then reviews MacIntyre’s virtues-practice-institution schema and the implications of this at the level of the institution in question—the corporation—and argues that the (...) concept of corporate character follows from, but is a novel development of, MacIntyre’s schema. The paper contrasts corporate character and virtues with the more familiar concepts of corporate culture and values. The constitutive and substantive elementsof corporate character, including the essential corporate virtues, are then drawn out and illustrated with reference to the cases explored in Koehn (1998). Finally, the paper acknowledges and counters a specific criticism of this approach. (shrink)
This article examines the applicability of character and virtue ethics to international marketing. The historical background of this field, dimensions of virtue ethics and its relationship to other ethical theories are explained. Five core virtues – integrity, fairness, trust, respect and empathy – are suggested as especially relevant for marketing in a multicultural and multinational context. Implications are drawn for marketing scholars, practitioners and educators.
In “Demonstratives”, David Kaplan introduced a simple and remarkably robust semantics for indexicals. Unfortunately, Kaplan’s semantics is open to a number of apparent counterexamples, many of which involve recording devices. The classic case is the sentence “I am not here now” as recorded and played back on an answering machine. In this essay, I argue that the best way to accommodate these data is to conceive of recording technologies as introducing special, non-basic sorts of contexts, accompanied by non-basic conventions governing (...) the use of indexicals in those contexts. The idea is that recording devices allow us to use indexicals in new and innovative ways to coordinate on objects. And, given sufficient regularity in the use of indexicals on such devices, linguistic conventions will, over time, come to reflect this innovation. I consider several alternatives to this ‘character-shifting’ theory, but none is able to account for the data as well as the present proposal. Many face additional theoretical difficulties as well. I conclude by explaining how the character-shifting theory not only retains many of the virtues of Kaplan’s original semantics, but also coheres with a plausible view on the nature of semantic theorizing more generally. (shrink)
I am grateful to Michael Tye for his discussion of my book, and to the editor for offering me the opportunity to respond to Tye's criticisms of my account of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience—especially since this prompted reflections that led me to see a way of removing one unattractive feature of the account.
The words “content” and “character” in my title refer to the representational content and phenomenal character of color experiences. So my topic concerns the nature of our experience of color. But I will, of course, be talking about colors as well as color experience. Let me set the stage by mentioning some things, some more controversial than others, that I will be taking for granted. I assume, to begin with, that objects in the world have colors, and have (...) them independently of being perceived to have them, and independently even of there being creatures capable of perceiving them. I think, and this of course sets me apart from the many color irrealists among philosophers and color scientists, that any reasonable semantics for color terms, and any reasonable account of the reference of color concepts, should yield the result that colors are properties of external things that are realized in certain of their physical properties, namely those responsible for their reflecting or emitting the light whose impact on our retinas is involved in causing our color perceptions. This brings me to a further assumption that I shall be making, namely the truth of physicalism. I take physicalism to be the thesis that all properties of things either are or are realized in basic physical properties, where basic physical properties are the properties that underlie the behavior and causal powers of inanimate things. There are two ways in which the commitment to physicalism will figure in my discussion. First, I assume that colors are physically realized properties. Second, I assume that color experiences are physically realized. These two commitments frame the problem I am discussing – how can colors be properties realized in the microphysical properties of things, and how can color experience be so realized? I don’t think there is any generally accepted account of what it is for a property to be “realized in” other properties. For those who think, as I do, that properties are individuated by their causal features, it should seem plausible to say that property P realizes property Q just in case the forward looking causal features of Q are a subset of the forward looking causal features of P, and the backward looking.... (shrink)
The recent literature on ad hominem argument contends that the speaker’s character is sometimes relevant to evaluating what she says. This effort to redeem ad hominems requires an analysis of character that explains why and how character is relevant. I argue that virtue epistemology supplies this analysis. Three sorts of ad hominems that attack the speaker’s intellectual character are legitimate. They attack a speaker’s: (1) possession of reliabilist vices; or (2) possession of responsibilist vices; or (3) (...) failure to perform intellectually virtuous acts. Legitimate ad hominems conclude that we should not believe what a speaker says solely on her say-so. (shrink)
One way to frame the problem of moral luck is as a contradiction in our ordinary ideas about moral responsibility. In the case of two identical reckless drivers where one kills a pedestrian and the other does not, we tend to intuit that they are and are not equally blameworthy. The Character Response sorts these intuitions in part by providing an account of moral responsibility: the drivers must be equally blameworthy, because they have identical character traits and people (...) are originally praiseworthy and blameworthy in virtue of, and only in virtue of, their character traits. After explicating two versions of the Character Response, I argue that they both involve implausible accounts of moral responsibility and fail to provide a good solution to the problem of moral luck. I close by noting how proponents of moral luck can preserve a kernel of truth from the Character Response to explain away the intuition that the drivers are equally blameworthy. (shrink)
In recent years, character traits in general and virtue-related concepts in particular have been of considerable interest to philosophers, psychological researchers, and practitioners in the business ethics field. Three approaches to character traits can be used to incorporate ethics into organizations: virtues, character strengths, and competencies. The aim of this article is to clarify the concept of character traits, or virtues, and provide a unified operational version of it for incorporation into management. To this end, we (...) first discuss the analogy among virtues, character strengths, and competencies. Then, we propose a list of moral competencies that can be implemented in competency-based human resource management. (shrink)
A structured character is a semantic value of a certain sort. Like the more familiar Kaplanian characters, structured characters determine the contents of expressions in contexts. But unlike Kaplanian characters, structured characters also have constituent structures. The semantic theories with which most of us are acquainted do not mention structured characters. But I argue in this paper that these familiar semantic theories fail to make obvious distinctions in meaning---distinctions that can be made by a theory that uses structured characters. (...) Thus I conclude that we should reject these familiar semantic theories, and accept a semantic theory that includes structured characters among its semantic values. (shrink)
I argue that the ontological status of fictional characters is determined by the beliefs and practices of those who competently deal with works of literature, and draw out three important consequences of this. First, heavily revisionary theories cannot be considered as ‘discoveries’ about the ‘true nature’ of fictional characters; any acceptable realist theory of fiction must preserve all or most of the common conception of fictional characters. Second, once we note that the existence conditions for fictional characters are extremely minimal, (...) it makes little sense to deny the existence of fictional characters, leaving anti-realist views of fiction unmotivated. Finally, the role of ordinary beliefs and practices in determining facts about the ontology of fictional characters explains why non-revisionary theories of fiction are bound to yield no determinate or precise answer to certain questions about fictional characters, demonstrating the limits of a theory of fiction. (shrink)
Philosophers have inherited a familiar taxonomy of character types from Aristotle. We are all acquainted with the labels of the virtuous, vicious, continent, and incontinent person. The goal of this paper is to argue that we should jettison this framework. The main reason is that psychological research in the past fifty years has suggested a much more complex picture of moral character than what can be usefully captured by these four categories. In its place, I will suggest a (...) better taxonomy that makes use of the idea of what I call mixed character. (shrink)
Most traditional accounts of Aristotle's theory of ethical education neglect its cognitive aspects. This book asserts that, in Aristotle's view, excellence of character comprises both the sentiments and practical reason. Sherman focuses particularly on four aspects of practical reason as they relate to character: moral perception, choicemaking, collaboration, and the development of those capacities in moral education. Throughout the book, she is sensitive to contemporary moral debates, and indicates the extent to which Aristotle's account of practical reason provides (...) an alternative to theories of impartial reason. (shrink)
This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of (...) the agent, they are partial bearers of her cognitions, motivations, memories, and so on. According to proponents of the situationist challenge to virtue theory, dispositions located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent to whom they are attributed typically do not meet the normative standards associated with either virtue or vice (moral, epistemic, or otherwise) because they are too susceptible to moderating external variables, such as mood modulators, ambient sensibilia, and social expectation signaling. We here draw on both of these literatures to formulate two novel views – the embedded and extended character hypotheses – according to which the vehicles of not just mental states but longer-lasting, wider-ranging, and normatively-evaluable agentic dispositions are sometimes located partially beyond the confines of the agent’s skin. (shrink)