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Cambridge University Press
Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior / Edition 1

Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior / Edition 1

by John M. Doris


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521608909
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/07/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

John Doris is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Table of Contents

Preface: a renaissance of virtue; 1. Joining the hunt; 2. Character and consistency; 3. Moral character, moral behavior; 4. The fragmentation of character; 5. Judging character; 6. From psychology to ethics; 7. Situation and responsibility; 8. Is there anything to be ashamed of?

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Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Marcelocoelho on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is a thorough enquiry about some current psychological theories concerning human character. Based on a wide spectrum of empirical research, John Doris --a philosopher-- argues that there is no such a thing as a "good" or "bad" character. Very normal people are capable of doing horrible things, if the circumstances prompt them to do so. Some classical experiments, as Milgram's research in 1968, make a persuading point about that. Milgram invited many voluntaries to cooperate in a psychological experiment, apparently intended to discover unveil the role of pain in learning processes. The voluntaries were asked to inflict electrical shocks in their human "guinea pigs". In fact, the purpose of Milgram's research, unknown to the voluntaries, was to measure their propensity to obey orders that in practice were equivalent to inflict torture in other human beings. The dismal results of this research were that a vast majority of people, notwithstanding their moral patterns and normal behaviour, were quick to behave as torturers. John Doris' book discusses at length the philosophical implications of experiments like these, with an open eye to all attempts to dismiss Milgram's conclusions. It is a fascinating, witty and disturbing book.