Non-Fiction Books:

Understanding Virtue

Theory and Measurement
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Understanding Virtue by Jennifer Cole Wright

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The last thirty years have seen a resurgence of interest in virtue among philosophers, psychologists, and educators. Over time, this interdisciplinary conversation has included character cultivation and education, in addition to more abstract, theoretical discussions of virtue. As is often the case when various disciplinary endeavors become entwined, this renewed interest in virtue cultivation faces an important challenge--namely, meeting the varying requirements imposed by different disciplinary standards. For virtue in particular, this means developing an account that practitioners from multiple disciplines find sufficiently rigorous, substantive, and useful. This volume represents a response to this interdisciplinary challenge. This co-authored book not only provides a framework for quantifying virtues, but also explores how we can understand virtue in a philosophically-informed way that is compatible with the best thinking available in personality psychology. Its objective is twofold: first, drawing on whole trait theory in psychology and Aristotelian virtue ethics, it offers accounts of virtue and character that are both philosophically sound and psychologically realistic. Second, the volume presents strategies for how virtue and character can be translated into empirically measurable variables and, thus, measured systematically, relying on the insights from the latest research in personality, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and psychological science more broadly. This volume presents a major contribution to the emerging science of virtue measurement and character, demonstrating just how philosophical understanding and psychological research can enrich each other.

Author Biography

Jennifer Cole Wright is Professor of Psychology at the College of Charleston, as well as an Affiliate Member of both the Philosophy Department and the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program. She is also currently a Sustainability and Social Justice Faculty Fellow with the Honors College. She is the editor of an interdisciplinary volume on Humility (Oxford University Press, 2019) and has co-edited, with Hagop Sarkissian, Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014). Michael T. Warren is a developmental psychologist serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Human Early Learning Partnership at the University of British Columbia, as well as an instructor in the Psychology Department at Western Washington University. His work on the development of virtues and mindfulness has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Adolescence, International Journal of Behavioral Development, and The Journal of Positive Psychology. Nancy E. Snow is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Virtue as Social Intelligence: An Empirically Grounded Theory (Routledge, 2010) and over forty-five papers on virtue and ethics more broadly. She has also edited or co-edited seven volumes: In the Company of Others: Perspectives on Community, Family, and Culture (Rowman & Littlefield,1996), Legal Philosophy: Multiple Perspectives with Larry May and Angela Bolte (Mayfield, 1999), Stem Cell Research: New Frontiers in Science and Ethics (Notre Dame, 2004), Cultivating Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology (Oxford, 2014), The Philosophy and Psychology of Character and Happiness with Franco V. Trivigno (Routledge, 2014), Developing the Virtues: Integrating Perspectives with Julia Annas and Darcia Narvaez (Oxford 2016), and The Oxford Handbook of Virtue (2018). She is the series editor of "The Virtues," a book series published by Oxford University Press featuring interdisciplinary volumes on virtues or clusters of virtues.
Release date NZ
December 17th, 2020
Country of Publication
United States
Oxford University Press Inc
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