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Character, attitude and disposition

Webber, Jonathan ORCID: 2015. Character, attitude and disposition. European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4) , pp. 1082-1096. 10.1111/ejop.12028

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Recent debate over the empirical psychological presuppositions of virtue ethics has focused on reactive behavioural dispositions. But there are many character traits that cannot be understood properly in this way. Such traits are well described by attitude psychology. Moreover, the findings of attitude psychology support virtue ethics in three ways. First, they confirm the role of habituation in the development of character. Further, they show virtue ethics to be compatible with the situation manipulation experiments at the heart of the recent debate. Finally, they show how the cognitive-affective theory of personality and the two-system theory of behavioural cognition are compatible, thereby undermining the current empirical challenge to virtue ethics. Empirical research into the nature and development of attitudes should therefore be central to philosophical discussions of virtue and character.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Additional Information: Online publication date: 20 May 2013.
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 1468-0378
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 22:49

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