Virtue Ethics, And Moral Psychology w/ Mark Alfano
Hello, everybody! We start the week with an interview with Dr. Mark Alfano. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Delft University of Technology and the Australian Catholic University. Dr. Alfano uses tools and methods from philosophy and the sciences to explore topics in moral psychology, epistemology, and digital humanities. He studies how people become and remain virtuous, how values become integrated into people's lives, and how these virtues and values are (or fail to be) manifested in their perception, thoughts, feelings, deliberations, and behavior. One of the guiding themes of his work is that moral philosophy without psychological content is empty, but psychological investigation without philosophical insight is blind. He’s the author of books like Character as Moral Fiction, and Nietzsche's Moral Psychology.
In this episode, we focus mostly of Dr. Alfano’s work on virtue ethics and moral character. We first get into issues regarding modern accounts of virtue ethics, the objectivity (or lack thereof) of morality, and what moral character is. We also refer to moral psychology, and the replication crisis in Psychology, with particular emphasis on the literature from social psychology. We talk about thick concepts of virtue ethics, and the is-ought dichotomy. Finally, we address the situationist critique of virtue ethics, what we know about the effects of labelling, and how personality might play a role in different people being differentially susceptible to change.
Link to podcast version (Anchor): http://bit.ly/2Rc41Ud