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ARETAI 2018 : ​Aretai - Center on Virtues 3rd Annual Conference, ​Virtue Ethics and Psychology. Towards a New Science of Virtues?


When Oct 18, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018
Where European University of Rome
Submission Deadline May 30, 2018
Notification Due Jun 15, 2018
Categories    moral psychology   moral education   cognitive psychology   virtue ethics

Call For Papers

With the aim of including as many contributions as possible, the conference will be structured around plenary sessions with lectures given by the invited speakers, and parallel sessions with the contributed papers selected by double blind review. The contributed papers should last 30 minutes (presentation + discussion). Abstracts of about 500 words (references included), prepared for blind refereeing, should be sent as email attachments to
Possible contributions should refer to (at least) one of the three following sections and address one or more of their key questions:
1. Methodology
- How should we conceive of the relationship between the normative dimension of virtue ethics and the descriptive one of psychology?
- How can research in one field affect the other? Which cases best exemplify such possible fruitful interaction?
- Can positive and social psychology be powerful resources for inquiring into the nature of virtue? Which other branches of psychology are suitably equipped in this respect?
- Is the very idea of virtue as a character trait empirically plausible? If so, which account of virtue best fits psychological evidence on human behavior?
- Does psychological research confirm the virtue-ethical idea of the primacy of virtues over general norms?

2. Addressing the situationist challenge
- How much of our thinking, feeling, and acting is predicted by situational factors? Does the impact of studies concerning situational factors speak against the notion of virtues as character traits?
- Should we conceive of the virtues as global or local traits?
- Should we account for a distinction between high-fidelity virtues, which require a high degree of consistency, and low-fidelity virtues, which admit of a lower degree of consistency? (see Alfano 2013: 241; Doris 2010, 139n5).
- Is the thesis of the unity or reciprocity of the virtues defensible, in light of situationism and of other psychological criticisms? How should we reformulate this thesis in order to defend it from such criticisms? (see, e.g., Gulliford&Roberts 2018).
- How should we adequately account for the so-called "surprising dispositions"? Is Miller's account of "mixed trait" a convincing one?

3. Educational applications
- Which account of virtue acquisition best accommodates psychological evidence on the matter?
- Should we stick to the virtue-as-skill paradigm, grounded on the idea of habituation, or should we buy into different accounts?

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