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Title: The story of my life : virtue, character and narrative
Author: Grover, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 2664
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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The primary aim of this research is to develop a new philosophical analysis of the concept of character that reflects the complexity of people and meets the demands of moral explanation. It places the agent's particular perspective and the wider context at the centre of moral judgement. The reason for undertaking this project is to establish an account of morality that is not in conflict with discoveries in empirical psychology. It responds to the challenge that the situation usually has the explanatory role and that character traits rarely function as explanations for action. It argues that the best interpretation of the situationist position is that reasons would have to be features of the situation to separate the situationist argument from behaviourism. However, it argues that this would then commit the situationist to a controversial theory of action where what explains an action need not obtain. It argues that to evaluate a person or his action properly we need to tell an explanatory story and that this narrative construction is what best reflects the richness and complexity involved. It further argues that an adequate attribution of character to an individual will also take narrative form. Hence character traits can explain action because a narrative explanation of why an individual acted in a certain way can also be an explanation of why a certain character can be attributed to that person. It argues that narrative has central importance in the attribution of character traits because the narrative structure gives us an understanding of character that cannot be gained from a non-narrative presentation of the actions and events. This additional knowledge connects with the emotions important to moral evaluation of persons and actions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)