Category Archives: virtue ethics

Seligman on happiness: authentic or by definition?

I’m almost done with Martin Seligman’s well-known book of positive psychology, Authentic Happiness (2003). It’s been a very good read – although I was familiar with many of the relevant research findings, from my various internet travels (and Barking Up The Wrong Tree in particular), Seligman puts it all together and lays it out in […]

poverty, willpower, and virtue ethics

Recently, philosopher Michael Cholbi tweeted this story: “Why Can’ More Poor People Escape Poverty?“, along with the suggestion that the findings described therein could have implications for virtue theory. To make a long story short: “In the 1990s, social psychologists developed a theory of “depletable” self-control. The idea was that an individual’s capacity for exerting willpower […]

on taking oneself too seriously

I have recently noticed that it has somehow become somewhat fashionable to voice one’s disapproval of people who “take themselves too seriously.” For example, someone might say about herself, “I work hard, but I play hard, and I try not to take myself too seriously,” thereby insinuating that something is wrong with taking oneself very […]

states of character vs. virtues

Ok, one last bit for now on the situationism stuff (continued from here, here, and here). I think a main source of confusion is the distinction between what empirical claims virtue ethicists make, imply, or are committed to, and what their normative claims are. Here’s my interpretation of at least part of the story: Empirical […]

another stab at situationism

I think maybe I explained situationism rather poorly back here in skepticism about moral character. Some things Adam says over at Sophistpundit about The Nature of Character provide a good opportunity for me to clear things up for him as well as anyone else I may have unwittingly confused. So let me address a few […]

snapshots of moral character

Here is my very late reply to Jim on skepticism about moral character. The short answer: No, in all my moderately extensive reading on this subject, I have not found any “studies that actually involve the observation of a person’s behavior across a wide range of relevant circumstances,” as opposed to studies which deal with […]

skepticism about moral character

The other day, my buddy Adam over at Sophistpundit wrote about Character. I was not surprised that, being an economist and some kind of Humean virtue ethicist, he thinks that morality mostly concerns what kind of people we are, and that actions are signals to other people, providing information about what we’re like. Adam claims […]

more thoughts on veganism and well-being

I was thrilled to receive this thoughtful comment on my last post on my vegan experiment: Comment from abeala I have some disjointed things to say in response. First of all, yes, it can definitely be difficult to have a significant other who does not eat the same way as you. Around the time I […]

how not to think about cutting in line: a crash course in normative ethics

While I was at the IHS seminar last week, someone mentioned in passing the issue of whether or not it is morally permissible to allow people to go ahead of you in a line. What precipitated this question was the fact that we were using the same dining hall as a number of groups of […]