Timothy S. Reilly, Darcia Narvaez
Character, Virtue, and Science
Linking Psychological and Philosophical Views
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In the past century, both philosophy and psychology have reawakened to virtue, but mostly independently. How can the disciplines integrate their approaches to virtue scholarship? We examine three key assertions from virtue ethics in light of empirical research in psychology: (1) that virtue is realized in habits and dispositions, (2) that virtue is realized by a mean between extremes (doctrine of the mean), and (3) that virtue relates to human flourishing and the telos. We discuss selected contemporary psychological programs – structural examinations of personality, expertise, and developmental studies – and consider their strengths and limitations in light of philosophical concerns and as they relate to virtue generally and specifically in science. We finish by suggesting areas for future fruitful inquiry at the intersection of virtue ethics and psychology.