The Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):117-144 (2009)

Authors
Jesse J. Prinz
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Situationists argue that virtue ethics is empirically untenable, since traditional virtue ethicists postulate broad, efficacious character traits, and social psychology suggests that such traits do not exist. I argue that prominent philosophical replies to this challenge do not succeed. But cross-cultural research gives reason to postulate character traits, and this undermines the situationist critique. There is, however, another empirical challenge to virtue ethics that is harder to escape. Character traits are culturally informed, as are our ideals of what traits are virtuous, and our ideals of what qualifies as well-being. If virtues and well-being are culturally constructed ideals, then the standard strategy for grounding the normativity of virtue ethics in human nature is undermined.
Keywords Culture  Normativity  Personality  Self concepts  Situationism  Virtue ethics  Well-being
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10892-009-9053-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,043
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse & Glen Pettigrove - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Epistemic Virtue and the Epistemology of Education.Duncan Pritchard - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (2):236-247.
Moral Psychology: Empirical Approaches.John Doris & Stephen Stich - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Situated Agency: Towards an Affordance-Based, Sensorimotor Theory of Action.Martin Weichold - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (4):761-785.

View all 25 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Natural Goodness and the Normativity Challenge: Happiness Across Cultures.Sebastian Purcell - 2013 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 87:183-194.
Identifying and Defending the Hard Core of Virtue Ethics.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:233-260.
Situationism and Confucian Virtue Ethics.Deborah S. Mower - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):113-137.
Virtue Ethics and Situationist Personality Psychology.Maria Merritt - 2000 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (4):365-383.
Virtue Development and Psychology's Fear of Normativity.Kristján Kristjánsson - 2012 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 32 (2):103-118.
Social Psychology and Virtue Ethics.Christian Miller - 2003 - The Journal of Ethics 7 (4):365-392.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
581 ( #14,055 of 2,498,576 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #171,114 of 2,498,576 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes