An Aristotelian critique of situationism

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Abstract

Aristotle says that no human achievement has the stability of activities that express virtue. Ethical situationists consider this claim to be refutable by empirical evidence. If that is true, not only Aristotelianism, but folk psychology, contemporary virtue ethics and character education have all been seriously infirmed. The aim of this paper is threefold: (1) to offer a systematic classification of the existing objections against situationism under four main headings: 'the methodological objection', 'the moral dilemma objection', 'the bullet-biting objection' and 'the anti-behaviouristic objection'; (2) to resuscitate a more powerful Aristotelian version of the 'anti-behaviouristic objection' than advanced by previous critics; and (3) to explore some of the implications of such resuscitation for our understanding of the salience of character and for future studies of its nature.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-76
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy
Volume83
Issue number323
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008