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Character as Moral Fiction
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Character as Moral Fiction (Hardback)

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£67.00
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Synopsis

Everyone wants to be virtuous, but recent psychological investigations suggest that this may not be possible. Mark Alfano challenges this theory and asks, not whether character is empirically adequate, but what characters human beings could have and develop. Although psychology suggests that most people do not have robust character traits such as courage, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have reason to attribute these virtues to people because such attributions function as self-fulfilling prophecies - children become more studious if they are told that they are hard-working and adults become more generous if they are told that they are generous. He argues that we should think of virtue and character as social constructs: there is no such thing as virtue without social reinforcement. His original and provocative book will interest a wide range of readers in contemporary ethics, epistemology, moral psychology and empirically informed philosophy.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPhilosophy TheoryEthics & moral philosophy Publisher: Cambridge University Press Publication Date: 14/02/2013 ISBN-13: 9781107026728  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Mark Alfano is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. In 2011, he received his doctorate from the philosophy program of the City University of New York Graduate Center (CUNY GC). He has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and the Princeton University Center for Human Values. Alfano works on moral psychology, broadly construed to include ethics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of psychology. He also maintains an interest in Nietzsche, focusing on Nietzsche's psychological views. Alfano has authored papers for such venues as Philosophical Quarterly, The Monist, Erkenntnis, Synthese, and the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. Character as Moral Fiction, his first book, argues that the situationist challenge to virtue ethics spearheaded by John Doris and Gilbert Harman should be co-opted, not resisted. He is currently writing a moral psychology textbook and editing three volumes on virtue ethics and virtue epistemology.

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