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Virtue Studies



We have been doing research on virtue ethics and ethical virtues for quite a few years. A group of the staff members of IFSiD (The Institute of Philosophy, Sociology, and Journalism at Gdańsk University) study virtue-related issues within various philosophical disciplines, mainly ethics, metaethics, moral psychology, epistemology, and history of philosophy.

Virtue ethics is currently one of the most important trends in ethics. Its advocates, together with utilitarians and deontologists, take part in all the essential ethical debates. One of the signs of its importance is its broad range of application. One can hardly speak of social ethics, political ethics, or philosophy of education without reference to the category of virtue.

For the last decade or so we have been taking up the issue of the relation of virtue ethics to other ethical theories (mainly utilitarianism and deontology). We asked about the possibilities and limitations of virtue ethics and analyzed its various applications, especially in the field of social and political ethics. Our interests also concentrated on moral epistemology. We studied the extent to which the moral condition of an agent determines his or her moral perception, moral reasoning, moral decisions and action itself. Lately, we have focused on the situationist criticism of virtue ethics, examining the empirical evidence for moral character and virtue.

We discuss the results of our enquiries during conferences organized by IFSiD as well as in our publications.