The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 13, Issue 2–3, pp 175–193 | Cite as

The Structure of Character



In this paper, I defend a local account of character traits that posits traits like close-friend-honesty and good-mood-compassion. John Doris also defends local character traits, but his local character traits are indistinguishable from mere behavioral dispositions, they are not necessary for the purpose which allegedly justifies them, and their justification is only contingent, depending upon the prevailing empirical situation. The account of local traits I defend posits local traits that are traits of character rather than behavioral dispositions, local traits that are necessary to satisfy one of their central purposes, and local traits whose justification is dependent upon theoretical rather than empirical considerations.


Character traits Dispositions Doris Situationism Virtue ethics 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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