Philosophy 2133 F

Graduate Seminar -- Moral Psychology of Virtue

Fall 2002


Professor Gopal Sreenivasan

215 Huron Street, Rm. 921

(416) 978-2824




This seminar will examine the psychological constitution of virtue.  How, that is, does an agent have to be constituted psychologically in order to qualify as virtuous?  Can human beings be so constituted?  Our more specific focus will be on the role, if any, that emotion plays in the constitution of virtue.  But we shall also consider some more general issues that bear on this question:  for example, the nature of emotion; the rationality of emotion; the unity of the virtues; and the social psychology debate about traits. 



Reading Schedule



September 19               Paul Griffiths, What Emotions Really Are (1997), chh. 1-2.


September 26               Griffiths, chh. 3-4.


October 3                    Griffiths, chh. 5-6.


October 10                  Griffiths, chh. 9-10.


October 17                  Damasio, Descartes’ Error (1994), chh.7-9.


October 24                  de Sousa, Rationality of Emotion (1987), ch. 7. 


October 31                  Class cancelled.  No meeting.

November 7                 Ross and Nisbett, The Person and the Situation (1991), chh. 1 and 5.

Doris, “Persons, Situations, and Virtue Ethics,” Noûs 32 (1998): 504-30.

Harman, “Moral Philosophy Meets Social Psychology:  Virtue Ethics and the Fundamental

Attribution Error,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1999): 315-331.


Sreenivasan, “Errors About Errors:  Virtue Theory and Trait Attribution,” Mind 111 (2002):  47-68.


November 14               Hursthouse, Virtue Ethics (2001), chh. 4-5.


November 21               Herman, The Practice of Moral Judgement (1993), ch. 4.


November 28               Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought (2001), ch. 6.


December 5                 Badhwar, “The Limited Unity of Virtue,” Noûs 30 (1996):  306-29.

Irwin, “Practical Reason Divided:  Aquinas and his Critics” in Cullity and Gaut (eds.) Ethics and

Practical Reason (1997), ch. 7.