Virtue as a Trait

In Nancy Snow (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 9-34 (2018)

Authors
Christian Miller
Wake Forest University
Abstract
One of the most common assumptions about the moral virtues is that they are traits, or more specifically, traits of character. But what are character traits, and what character traits do we actually possess today? This chapter will take up each of these questions in turn. First it will consider the metaphysics of character traits, and distinguish between three competing views. Then it will turn to the empirical issue of whether most people actually have character traits, and if so, what they tend to look like. Throughout, the main focus will be on presenting leading views, rather than on trying to argue for any one view in particular. The focus will also be on the moral character traits, rather than the epistemic, prudential, aesthetic, or other kinds of traits.
Keywords Character  Traits  Situationism  Virtue  Vice  Personality  Disposition
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