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date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

One of the most common assumptions about the moral virtues is that they are traits, or more specifically, traits of character. But what are character traits, and what character traits do individuals actually possess today? This chapter takes up each of these questions in turn. First it considers the metaphysics of character traits, distinguishing between three competing views: the summary view, the conditional view, and the dispositional view. Then it turns to the empirical issue of whether most people actually have character traits, and if so, what they tend to look like. Different options include the possession of traditional virtues, traditional vices, local traits, and mixed traits.

Keywords: trait, character, disposition, local trait, mixed trait, virtue

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