Wednesday, March 26th 2014, 16:30 – 18:00 Tom Bates, University of Leiden

‘Mixed versus Moderate Traits: On the Evaluative Status of Empirically Sound Character’

Location: CZ 118



In a recent pair of books Christian Miller has argued for an empirically robust theory of moral character, which he calls the ‘Mixed Traits’ view. These traits are mixed in the sense that they have a mixed evaluative valence, a rather novel idea which does not clearly match with a pre-theoretical view of character. In this paper I will argue that the challenge of squaring psychological findings about personality and behaviour with pre-theoretical ideas about moral character does not require such a radical account. The challenge of situationism can be met if we give consideration to the role of moderate character traits. I will show why moderate traits can meet the empirical challenge, and why this model is preferable to the mixed traits account. 


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