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Tugendethik und Sozialwissenschaft

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Translated title of the contributionVirtue ethics and social science
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/08/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Soziale Passagen
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)29-43
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/08/18
<mark>Original language</mark>German


In this contribution, I suggest how virtue ethics and social science might
learn from each other. I show that they have complementary strengths and weaknesses regarding virtues, which invite a synthesis that cancels out their respective weaknesses. I outline such a synthesis, centering on Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, which, suitably modified, allows us to situate virtues and vices in their social context and understand their development within individuals, particularly in childhood. Although this concept was developed in sociology, it glosses processes of psychological development that are dealt with by attachment theory. Relatedly, the literature on care ethics helps us counter the masculinist bias of most accounts of virtues and to understand human vulnerability and need of care. Further, I argue that having the kind of psycho-sociological imagination that social science provides can help us better to understand virtues and vices in everyday life, and is a virtue in itself.