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Developing the VirtuesIntegrating Perspectives$
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Julia Annas, Darcia Narvaez, and Nancy E. Snow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190271466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190271466.001.0001

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Moral Self-Identity and the Social-Cognitive Theory of Virtue

Moral Self-Identity and the Social-Cognitive Theory of Virtue

(p.34) 2 Moral Self-Identity and the Social-Cognitive Theory of Virtue
Developing the Virtues

Daniel Lapsley

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes a social-cognitive theory of moral identity. It trades on important themes in ethical theory that emphasize the importance of second-order desires and strong evaluation. After placing moral identity within a historical context of moral development research, and describing Blasi’s pioneering work in reaction to it, the chapter outlines the key elements of the social-cognitive alternative that emphasizes the accessibility and centrality of moral identity within the working self-concept, and the role of situations in activating or deactivating its accessibility. The empirical warrant for this approach is reviewed. A claim is made that social-cognitive moral identity theory is a progressive research program and has implications for current debates about situationism and the stability of moral dispositions.

Keywords:   moral identity, social cognition, personality, schemas, accessibility, situationism

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