Consistent egoists and situation managers: two problems for situationism

Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):344-361 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

According to philosophical “situationism”, psychological evidence shows that human action is typically best explained by the influence of situational factors and not by “global” and robust character traits of the agent. As a practical implication of their view, situationists recommend that efforts in moral education be shifted from character development to situation management. Much of the discussion has focused on whether global conceptions of virtue and character, and in particular Aristotelian virtue ethics, can be defended against the situationist challenge. After several rounds of debate, both sides claim victory, and they seem to have reached a stalemate. In this paper, I refocus the debate on the arguments offered in support of situationism itself. I argue that two serious problems have so far gone unnoticed in the literature. First, the argument in support of situationism is unsound. It is based on evidence that agents’ morally relevant behavior reliably covaries with morally irrelevant situationa..

Similar books and articles

Situationism versus Situationism.Travis J. Rodgers & Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):9-26.
Situationism, Responsibility, and Fair Opportunity.David O. Brink - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy (1-2):121-149.
Situationism and Confucian Virtue Ethics.Deborah S. Mower - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):113-137.
Situationism, going mental, and modal akrasia.Dylan Murray - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):711-736.
Virtue, Character and Situation.Jonathan Webber - 2006 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):193-213.
Situationism and Virtue Theory.Mark Alfano & Abrol Fairweather - 2013 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
Virtue Cultivation in Light of Situationism.Christian Miller - 2016 - In Julia Annas, Darcia Narvaez & Nancy E. Snow (eds.), Developing the Virtues: Integrating Perspectives. New York, US: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 157-183.
Character, Situation and Intelligence.Glen Koehn - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 10:245-260.
Situationism and Agency.Alfred R. Mele & Joshua Shepherd - 2013 - Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (1):62-83.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-06-17

Downloads
415 (#48,623)

6 months
90 (#53,158)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen

Citations of this work

Proposing an Islamic virtue ethics beyond the situationist debates.Muhammad Velji - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Getting Less Cynical about Virtue.Joshua May - 2017 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Christian Miller (eds.), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character. MIT Press. pp. 45-52.
Is Situationism Conservatively Revisionary for Ethics?Derick Hughes - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (1):69-91.
Situationism and the problem of moral improvement.Matthew C. Taylor - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):312-327.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior.John M. Doris - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Character as Moral Fiction.Mark Alfano - 2013 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Moral Character: An Empirical Theory.Christian B. Miller - 2013 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Character and Moral Psychology.Christian B. Miller - 2014 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

View all 36 references / Add more references