Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (1):137-145 (2004)

Chris Tucker
William & Mary
While there are alternative accounts, many virtue theories are character based, that is, they assert that the primary loci if moral evaluation are a person's character traits. According to these theories, any individual human being is good insogar as she possesses certain character traits, the virtues, and does not possess their antipodes, the vices. Gilbert Harman has attacked this view by citing evidence in empirical psychology that human behaviour is explained by situational factors to the exclusion of stable dispositions of character. In this paper I argue that Harman's attack fails, firstly because his target is too wide, meaning that the traits tested for are not of the type most relevant to virtue theory, and secondly because he cannot dispense with character traits for explaining behaviour.
Keywords character traits  virtues  situationism  social psychology
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Reprint years 2004, 2005
ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview200521139
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Skepticism About Character Traits.Gilbert Harman - 2009 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (2-3):235 - 242.
Responsibility and Situationism.Brandon Warmke - 2022 - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 468-493.

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