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Moral Character, Liberal States, and Civic Education

McTernan, Emily; (2022) Moral Character, Liberal States, and Civic Education. In: Vargas, Manuel and Doris, John M, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. (pp. 862-876). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Ensuring a functioning and stable liberal society requires a variety of behaviours and attitudes from individual citizens, from paying taxes to tolerating diversity. Political philosophers largely accept that these cannot be achieved through the arrangement of institutions alone, and so propose the cultivation of civic virtues. Meanwhile, in moral philosophy, much has been written about the challenging implications of psychology for theories of moral virtue. This chapter examines what political philosophers might draw from the findings of psychology. I begin by presenting the challenge from psychology to the traditional model of civic education. However, this chapter’s focus is on what political philosophers have to gain from psychological research: namely, a set of empirically superior alternatives to civic education as usual. I will outline three such alternatives—local traits, situational factors, and social norms—sketching their relative merits and the significant changes to civic education as usual that they would require.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Moral Character, Liberal States, and Civic Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198871712.013.42
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198871712.013...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: moral psychology, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, character, situationism, moral responsibility, reason, emotion, moral judgement
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10156140
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