virtue virtue ethics situation moral character situationist objection
Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika
Szutta, N. (Natasza). "The Concept of Virtue after the Character-Situation Debate". Scientia et Fides. 9 (2), 2021, 55 - 74
The article focuses on acurrent debate in contemporary ethics between socalled situationists and the advocates of virtue ethics. The fundamental assumption made by virtue ethics is that developing and perfecting one’s moral character or moral virtues warrants one’s morally good action. Situationists claim that this assumption contradicts the results of the latest empirical studies. From this observation they conclude that virtue ethics is based on an empirically inadequate moral psychology. In the first part of the article, Ipresent the conceptions of virtue and moral character developed in response to the situationist critique. Ishow to which degree these conceptions differ from the classical, socalled global approach in virtue ethics. In the second part, based on the latest empirical studies in social and cognitive psychology, Iargue, against the situationist objection, that the classical notion of virtue meets the requirement of empirical adequacy. Imainly resort to the interactionist theory of personality by W. Mischel, R. Baumeister’s studies over selfcontrol, D. Kahneman’s dualprocessing theory of the mind, and the studies over automatized processes by J. Bargh.