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Character, global and local

By J. Webber


Philosophers have recently argued that we should revise our understanding of character. An\ud individual’s behaviour is governed not by a set of ‘global’ traits, each elicited by a certain kind of situational\ud feature, but by a much larger array of ‘local’ traits, each elicited by a certain combination of situational features.\ud The data cited by these philosophers supports their theory only if we conceive of traits purely in terms of\ud stimulus and response, rather than in the more traditional terms of inner mental items such as inclinations. We\ud should not adopt the former conception, since doing so would impede pursuit of the ethical aims for which we\ud need a theory of character, whereas retaining the latter conception will facilitate this pursuit. So we should not\ud revise our understanding of character in this way

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2007
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