Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology: The Situationism Debate

The Journal of Ethics

By Candace L. Upton

"Aristotle was acutely aware of the importance of moral psychological observations
to virtue ethics. In his brief discussion of bravery in the Nicomachean Ethics, he
makes at least ten explicit empirical claims about the actual psychological states and
abilities of moral agents (Aristotle 1985). His psychological observations concern
the limits beyond which human beings cannot control their behavior, sanity and the
capacity for emotional response, motivation, fear, self-esteem, anger and revenge,
false belief and hopefulness, the false beliefs of the less-than-virtuous about their
own emotional responses and physical abilities, the relative difficulties of exacting
self-control, and the emotional response of humans to pains and difficulties.1 The
other virtues Aristotle enumerates and characterizes, from generosity and justice to
truthfulness and shame, are similarly laden with empirical observations about
human behavior, reason, emotion, and capabilities. "

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 by ajstasic
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