By Professor Mark Alfano
Everybody desires to be virtuous, yet contemporary mental investigations recommend that this won't be attainable. Mark Alfano demanding situations this concept and asks, no longer even if personality is empirically sufficient, yet what characters humans may have and increase. even if psychology means that most folks don't have powerful personality characteristics reminiscent of braveness, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have got cause to characteristic those virtues to humans simply because such attributions functionality as self-fulfilling prophecies - little ones develop into extra studious in the event that they are advised that they're hard-working and adults develop into extra beneficiant in the event that they are instructed that they're beneficiant. He argues that we must always contemplate advantage and personality as social constructs: there is not any such factor as advantage with out social reinforcement. His unique and provocative e-book will curiosity a variety of readers in modern ethics, epistemology, ethical psychology and empirically educated philosophy
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Extra resources for Character as moral fiction
Someone may be a saint, deeply virtuous through and through; this would correspond to the paper’s being ultramarine from edge to edge. Someone may, however, be mostly virtuous through and through; this would correspond to the paper’s being baby blue from edge to edge. The breadth metaphor applies as well: someone may be deeply virtuous in some respects but continent, incontinent, or vicious in others. This corresponds to the paper’s having splotches of ultramarine cheek by jowl with splotches of baby blue, powder blue, and white.
I will argue that the most normatively troubling of these three types of interfering factors are situational non-reasons. 1 Bad reasons Someone could fail to be virtuous because he is too easily swayed by bad reasons. What is a bad reason? It’s useful in this context to distinguish between a reason and all-things-considered reason for conduct. What you have all things considered reason to do, avoid, believe, and feel is presumably a function of the various, often incompatible, reasons you have to do, avoid, believe, think, and feel.
Someone may, however, be mostly virtuous through and through; this would correspond to the paper’s being baby blue from edge to edge. The breadth metaphor applies as well: someone may be deeply virtuous in some respects but continent, incontinent, or vicious in others. This corresponds to the paper’s having splotches of ultramarine cheek by jowl with splotches of baby blue, powder blue, and white. Just as it’s assertible, even true, to say of a piece of paper that it’s blue even if it has a few splotches of white, so it may be assertible, even true, to say of a person that she’s virtuous or even a saint despite the fact that she is not robustly virtuous through and through.