Character and the Morally Exceptional: Empirical Discoveries and Moral Improvement

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Beacon Project Summer Seminar: “Character and the Morally Exceptional: Empirical Discoveries and Moral Improvement”

June 18-28, 2018
Wake Forest University

Seminar Leader:
Dr. Christian B. Miller, A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy
Philosophy Director, The Beacon Project
Past Director, The Character Project

Becoming a virtuous person is one of the central goals of the ethical life. But how good of a job are most people doing in becoming virtuous? And are there any plausible strategies for cultivating the virtues and becoming morally exceptional which can help us to do better? This seminar will examine these two questions in detail. In the first half, we will see whether character traits even exist in light of results in psychology. The second half will turn to various strategies for trying to bridge the gap between the character we actually have, and the virtuous character we should strive to obtain. Developing and justifying such strategies is one of the most underexplored areas of ethics, although in recent years it has gained increased attention. Here we will look at new work by Nancy Snow, Jonathan Webber, Julia Annas, and Alan Wilson, among others, some of which has not appeared in print yet.

Participants will have their travel, meal, reading materials, and lodging costs covered. They will be housed at the Graylyn Conference Center (www.graylyn.com), one of the nicest facilities in the country. Seminar meetings are expected to last roughly three hours per day, and will conclude on Thursday, June 28 so that all participants can attend the Beacon Project Final Conference on June 28-30.

The application deadline is December 15, 2017. For more details please visit: http://www.moralbeacons.org/summer-seminar/