Academic journal article Journal of Markets & Morality

The Character Gap: How Good Are We?

Academic journal article Journal of Markets & Morality

The Character Gap: How Good Are We?

Article excerpt

The Character Gap: How Good Are We?

Christian B. Miller

New York: Oxford University Press, 2018 (293 pages)

Are human beings basically good or basically bad? Its complicated. Or rather, we are complicated. So argues Christian Miller in this introduction to the philosophical, psychological, and practical aspects of human character. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Wake Forest University and he directs the Character Project, an international and multidisciplinary research program. He has also written extensively on character and moral psychology. The Character Gap is a distillation of his previous work and a survey of the psychological and philosophical research on this topic. It covers definitions (what character is and why it is important); the evidence of human character in action (an extensive review of psychological research, spiced with historical examples); and strategies for improving our characters. The book's style is easy and conversational, and Miller makes the reader feel the complexity of our moral lives. The true stories of human viciousness are deeply disturbing, and the accounts of human virtue and compassion are uplifting and exhilerating. …

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