Virtue, Vice, and Situationism

In Nancy E. Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 524-545 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


On the basis of psychological research, a group of philosophers known as 'situationists' argue that the evidence belies the existence of broad and stable (or 'global') character traits. They argue that this condemns as psychologically unrealistic those traditions in moral theory in which global virtues are upheld as ideals. After a survey of the debate to date, this article argues that the thesis of situationism is ill-supported by the available evidence. Situationists overlook the explanatory potential of a large class of global character traits, namely, vices that do not involve other-directed malevolence, such as laziness, cowardice, and selfishness. A detailed discussion of the relevant empirical studies bearing on moral psychology shows that the behavioral patterns observed in these studies are consistent with the widespread possession of such non-malicious vices. This means, contrary to the situationist thesis, that the empirical record is fully compatible with the common existence of global character traits.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Possibility of Virtue.Miguel Alzola - 2012 - Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (2):377-404.
Virtues, vices, and situations: What warrants the ascription of character traits.Xiaomei Yang - 2016 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 36 (3):142-157.
Virtue as a Trait.Christian Miller - 2017 - In Nancy E. Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 9-34.
Non-Ideal Virtue and Situationism.Matthew C. Taylor - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (1):41-68.
Situationism versus Situationism.Travis J. Rodgers & Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):9-26.


Added to PP

888 (#18,044)

6 months
170 (#23,739)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Thomas Bates
Plymouth State College
Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen

Citations of this work

Virtue in a time of depraved ideals.Iskra Fileva - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Character and Situationism: New Directions.Christian B. Miller - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (3):459-471.
Virtues as reasons structures.Leland F. Saunders - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2785-2804.
Virtue vs. virtue ethics.Christoph Halbig - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 3 (2):301-313.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references