Character and Moral Psychology (Hardback)
  • Character and Moral Psychology (Hardback)
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Character and Moral Psychology (Hardback)

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£49.99
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 09/01/2014
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Philosophers and psychologists have been hard at work trying to unlock the mysteries of our characters. Unfortunately, their answers have been all over the map. According to one position, every single person has all of the moral virtues, such as modesty and compassion, although to varying degrees. Yet according to another position, no one has any character traits at all since they are simply illusions and do not exist. Hence not one person is honest or compassionate or courageous. And between these extremes, there are plenty of intermediate views. Christian B. Miller argues that not one of these leading positions accurately reflects what most of us are like today. He explores the implications of the Mixed Trait framework-a theory of moral character developed in his previous book, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory. Mixed traits have both morally positive aspects (hence they are not vices) along with morally negative aspects (hence they are not virtues). Miller engages with the other leading positions on the empirical nature of character: situationism, the CAPS model, the Big Five model, and the local trait model. He goes on to apply the Mixed Trait framework to several important topics in ethics, especially the development of an error theory about judgments of character and the challenge faced by virtue ethics from the widespread lack of virtue.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199674367
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 239 x 162 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The book is likely to advance the reader along new, interesting, and insightful lines. It is exceptionally lucid, it offers a good summary of Miller's thinking as well as the contemporary philosophical and psychological approaches to character, and it constantly appeals to our commonsensical understanding of virtue. * Nicholas Kahm, The Thomist *
Christian Miller's work on character satisfies on all levels: it is novel yet commonsensical; it is meticulously researched yet explained with ease. It crosses seamlessly between disciplinary boundaries. Indeed, one often feels that Miller is not doing interdisciplinary research, in the sense of crossing from one discipline to the next, but is instead building a science of character in itself. In this respect, Character and Moral Psychology serves as a model for the science of character and for continued work that lies at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. * Lorraine L. Besser, Ethics *
Miller's book (and the companion volume referred to above) is and ought to be required reading for everyone working on problems and questions in the interface between moral philosophy and (empirical) moral psychology. Not only does Miller provide the best and most up to date overview of the field that I know of. He also moves the discussion further, raises new and interesting questions and helps to steer the debate away from a number of dead ends. * Metapsychology *
Christian Miller's book, together with its companion volume, Moral Character (2013), is among the most substantial - and among the very best - contributions to the virtue ethics and situationism debate * Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online *
Christian B. Miller is an astute analytic philosopher who can be relied upon to write penetratingly about any subject he addresses. . . . Miller tackles quite specific questions, mostly having to do with situationist challenges to the notion of moral character; but he does so with a degree of clarity, insight and originality rarely seen before in the field. . . . This is one of those books that is difficult to overpraise. * Kristjan Kristjansson, Journal of Moral Education *
Christian Millers two volumes, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory and Character and Moral Psychology, offer a comprehensive review of psychological research and theory concerning moral character traits and the influence of situational variables on moral behavior. They are essential reading for psychologists and philosophers whose work concerns moral character, moral development, or moral action. Miller challenges long accepted understandings of virtue and vice, offering a novel alternative grounded in recent empirical research. * Don Collins Reed, PsycCritiques *

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