CAHSS Faculty Articles

Developing the Virtues: Integrating Perspectives

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Metapsychology Online Reviews



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It is well known among academic philosophers that the study of the virtues, a preoccupation among the ancients, has become again a respectable field of specialization and study. The editors of Developing the Virtues concur. "The last thirty years has seen a resurgence of interest in virtue among philosophers" (1). But there has been a parallel growth in interest among psychologists in what has come to be called moral development, how moral thinking changes as individuals age. Just as our scientific thinking changes as we age (how a kindergartener understands and explains the changing of the seasons is very different from how a high-schooler does), our moral thinking likewise changes or develops. What psychologists interested in such moral development, like Piaget, Kohlberg, and Gilligan have been drawn to is not so much what an individual believes to be right or wrong in a given case, but with how one arrives at that conclusion. Until recently these parallel lines of pursuit have not crossed. Developing the Virtues is part of an attitude shift, for it takes as basic that "[v]irtue is by nature an interdisciplinary affair"





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