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

Authors
Pauline Kleingeld
University of Groningen
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..
Keywords situationism  moral psychology  character  practical reason  situation management
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DOI 10.1080/13869795.2015.1038293
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References found in this work BETA

Character as Moral Fiction.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
.Gilbert Harman - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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.
Character and Situationism: New Directions.Christian B. Miller - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (3):459-471.
Situationism and the Problem of Moral Improvement.Matthew C. Taylor - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (3):312-327.

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