We evaluate the suitability of Nussbaum's substantive account of capabilities in light of conceptual and empirical work that has shown that positivity is widely valued and pursued as an end by many people, and evidence that positive outcomes, even economic ones, are often caused by well-being rather than the other way around. While Nussbaum sees positive emotions as incidental to the experience of well-being, we argue that the experience of such mental states is partly constitutive of flourishing.
Aggregation shows that virtue-relevant behavior is indeed highly predictable, and that individual differences in global virtues do indeed exist. Aggregation is a key response to the situationist argument against the existence of broad virtues. However, a concern with aggregation is that, because it is an average, the specifics of what are included in that average matter. In particular, if heinous actions could be included in the average, then aggregates cannot provide enough confidence that the holders of high aggregates have not (...) conducted heinous actions and thus cannot provide enough confidence that such people qualify as virtuous. Doris has challenged aggregation with this concern, and no one has responded substantively to this challenge. If Doris’ challenge is in fact correct, then the situationist argument against the existence of broad virtues stands. In the article, we present a full response to this concern. We argue that aggregation does not in fact allow heinous exceptions, because aggregates do indeed predict extreme single behaviors very well. In fact, aggregates do allow confidence that holders of high aggregates do not commit heinous actions. Thus, Doris’ rejection of the aggregation solution does not defeat aggregation, aggregation continues to stand in the defense of global virtues, and the situationist argument does not threaten the existence and predictive power of global virtues. Models of traits that rely on aggregates, such as Whole Trait Theory, may provide useful post-situationist models of virtues. (shrink)
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) has been a key topic of research by psychologists over the last 25 years. But the idea that a person can benefit from adversity has been around for much longer, and is a stable in many mainstream cultures, and in theological and recent philosophical thinking. However, there has been, to date, little overlap between psychological research into PTG, and philosophical thinking about similar ideas. This is unfortunate, both because philosophers are not taking up potential sources of empirical (...) support, and because psychological research into PTG is subject to a range of criticisms and concerns. In this paper, we aim to show how philosophical thinking can address some of these, and as a result put psychological research into PTG on a firmer theoretical footing. (shrink)