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[Xmca-l] Re: Appeal for help

One could make an argument for reading the entire Wire series as an
extended study in the possibilities and ambiguities of virtue, alongside
any epic tragedy and structural critique.

On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Such a rich collection of connections, Christopher! Thank you. A lot of
> following up to do. !
> "Project" for me is very deep notwithstanding being always developing.
> Yes, flowering as well as degenerating is of interest, and the Wire
> episode is certainly illustrative.
> I think possibly that growing scepticism about the notion of character may
> be positive for my approach.
> ""strong relational ontology" movement within theoretical psych applies
> Aristotlean virtue ethics in the context of community and shared
> obligation" almost sums up my project, so I'll definitely follow up this
> group.
> The project is all about how to make a better world, Christopher. I am
> already locked in with a collaborator at this stage, but I wouldn't rule it
> out in the future given the evidence of your interests in this message.
> Thank you!
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
> On 6/07/2016 4:15 AM, Christopher Schuck wrote:
>> So, I am assuming you are still viewing those virtues as equally
>> "deep-seated" as in traditional virtue theory, but attributes of
>> culture/context as opposed to character/individual? Because it might be
>> necessary to examine that concept of deep-seatedness itself, and how it
>> might change in this new frame of reference. The popular juxtaposition with
>> character is "situationism" a la Walter Mischel, a somewhat watered-down
>> version of context which has often been assumed to be shallower or more
>> unstable. But your juxtaposition of project would turn this on its head.
>> What does it look like for a virtue to be deep-seated within a developing
>> project, rather than a developing individual? It could be interesting to
>> observe how the very meaning of "virtue" changes with your new paradigm,
>> not just the implications for human activity.
>> Another question is whether you are only interested in moral
>> degeneration, or also moral degeneration/growth with change in context. I
>> am thinking of The Wire, Season 3, where the experiment to legalize drugs
>> in "Hamsterdam" generates challenges and projects that have the effect of
>> making certain characters become more virtuous while others degenerate.
>> I wish I could "collaborate" with you on this project! It feels very
>> close to my interests....Although I am undoubtedly more individual-centered.
>> If you're willing to delve into mainstream personality psychology as it
>> relates to *traits* not virtues,  the classic person-in-situation,
>> cross-cultural research is a series of studies by Mischel and Shoda. Brian
>> Little has written a lot about "personal projects" and how they shape
>> people in a way that might provide an interesting individualistic foil to
>> what you intend by "project". The most large-scale investigation into moral
>> character from the empirical psych standpoint was recently spearheaded by
>> Christian Miller at Wake Forest University (thecharacterproject.com <
>> http://thecharacterproject.com>). His brand new project is
>> www.moralbeacons.org <http://www.moralbeacons.org>. I should add that
>> some of this research looks bland and terrible.
>> There is a lot of controversy about how to conceptualize virtue and
>> character in current analytic philosophy, especially in the field of action
>> theory and virtue epistemology; much of this has surfaced as empirical
>> research in the so-called "experimental philosophy" movement. Mark Alfano
>> came out with a book "Character as Moral Fiction" arguing that virtues are
>> social constructs that become self-fulfilling prophecies driven by future
>> possibility and social practices; this might interface somewhat with your
>> interest. There is an interdisciplinary collection coming out in the fall
>> edited by Iskra Fileva titled "Questions of Character" that may hit upon
>> relevant themes.
>> Finally, the "strong relational ontology" movement within theoretical
>> psych applies Aristotlean virtue ethics in the context of community and
>> shared obligation. e.g. Brent Slife, Frank Richardson, Blaine Fowers.
>> This might all be way off base from what you are looking for, but thought
>> I'd throw some of it out there. I could always send specific materials on
>> request.
>> Best, Chris
>> On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>     Comrade and friends, I need some help.
>>     I am setting about developing a new approach to virtue
>>     ethics. Virtues are everywhere taken to be deep-seated
>>     attributes of a person's character; my aim is to make
>>     the starting point instead from virtues defined as
>>     deep-seated attributes of a project, which you can
>>     take to mean "social context" or "system of activity"
>>     if you wish. I don't need advice about issues and
>>     problems of ethics, but it is in in the nature of
>>     virtue ethics that it always has strong implications
>>     for psychology as well as social theory, to the extent
>>     that I think I can make a great deal of progress by
>>     calling on psychological data.
>>     Can people point me to research(ers) about how a
>>     person's character changes with social context (e.g.
>>     home/work), any evidence of the well-known phenomenon
>>     in which a person promoted above the ability suffers a
>>     moral degeneration; any suitable and reliable data
>>     about the differing character (not just preferences or
>>     cognition, but virtues) of people from one culture or
>>     another? or similar information about changes in a
>>     person's character following their emigration to
>>     another country?
>>     URLs appreciated, or whole books, I don't have access
>>     to a university library or JSTOR.
>>     Thanks
>>     Andy
>>     --     ------------------------------------------------------------
>>     Andy Blunden
>>     http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>     http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making