Download Character as Moral Fiction by Mark Alfano PDF

By Mark Alfano

Every body desires to be virtuous, yet fresh mental investigations recommend that this would possibly not be attainable. Mark Alfano demanding situations this idea and asks, now not even if personality is empirically sufficient, yet what characters humans can have and advance. even though psychology means that most folks would not have strong personality characteristics corresponding to braveness, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we've got cause to characteristic those virtues to humans simply because such attributions functionality as self-fulfilling prophecies – teenagers turn into extra studious in the event that they are instructed that they're hard-working and adults turn into extra beneficiant in the event that they are instructed that they're beneficiant. He argues that we must always consider advantage and personality as social constructs: there is not any such factor as advantage with out social reinforcement. His unique and provocative publication will curiosity a variety of readers in modern ethics, epistemology, ethical psychology and empirically proficient philosophy.

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Like Russell (2009) and Badhwar (1996), I find the thick version of the integration thesis heroic but implausible. Furthermore, since the normative version is not implicated in any of the arguments for virtue ethics discussed above, it seems to be outside the hard core of virtue ethics. 34 Factitious Moral Virtue To sum up then, the following set of claims constitutes what I consider to be the hard core of virtue ethics: (acquirability) It is possible for a non-virtuous person to acquire some of the virtues.

By saying, “Because it produces good consequences” or “Because it’s in accordance with the rules,” would not motivate the moral acolyte. To answer it by saying, “Because you’re honest [or respectful, or diligent, or whatever],” would motivate. As I mentioned above, this one-sided presentation is intended not as a decisive argument in favor of virtue ethics but as motivation for the thought that virtue ethics has much to offer, perhaps even more to offer than its competitors. The question remains, though, whether virtue ethics is empirically and theoretically adequate.

Temptations make it hard to be virtuous, but this isn’t news. Perhaps the psychological evidence shows that temptations are even stronger than we tend to assume, but that is merely a matter of degree. If bad reasons were the only difficulty raised by situationism, it wouldn’t be a devastating challenge. In the next section, I discuss situational non-reasons, which I take to be the heart of the situationist challenge. 2 Situational non-reasons While it may be possible for virtue ethicists to find a place for temptations and situational demand characteristics in their moral psychology, For a more detailed analysis of the Milgram studies in obedience, see Chapter 8.

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