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  • Cited by 2
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
January 2024
Print publication year:
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Book description

Integrating psychological and philosophical research on virtue and moral development, this book presents a real-world program for virtue science. Offering empirically testable hypotheses, the chapters deliver theoretical and methodological guidance that shows how existing research can become a cohesive and truly interdisciplinary science of virtue. The authors' unique 'STRIVE-4 Model' defines a unifying conceptual framework, making the book an indispensable resource for a new generation of scholars and students. This empirically tested model provides the much-needed foundation that can put to rest traditional worries about moral science. While mapping out the relevant areas of psychology and value-focused inquiry, the book lays out an interdisciplinary approach to many questions, including the problem of knowledge about character. Written for those researching virtue drawing on personality, developmental, moral, and positive psychology, as well as moral philosophy and character education, the book demonstrates the importance and applications of studying virtues empirically.


‘Despite the proliferation of virtue research within psychology, the field remains fragmented and lacking in engagement with philosophical and developmental theories. This book is a game-changer. Not only is it informed by philosophical virtue theory, it gives a plausible social-scientific account of virtue and its surrounding conceptual parish. Highly recommended.’

Kristján Kristjánsson - University of Birmingham

‘Can there be a science of virtue? Should there be a science of virtue? In this remarkable book, Fowers, Cokelet, and Leonhardt answer both questions with a resounding: ‘yes!’. Then, they provide a detailed theoretical framework, full of testable hypotheses, to show us the way. The book is both rich and rigorous, and sophisticated enough philosophically to inspire confidence that the science of virtue will develop as a psychology–philosophy partnership. It is a major achievement.’

Barry Schwartz - University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing

‘The Science of Virtue is a major contribution to the emerging literature on virtue measurement. Co-authored by psychologists and a philosopher, it showcases the richness of interdisciplinary collaboration. Of the many interesting discussions it offers, let me mention only four: the development of the STRIVE-4 model, insights on moral development and virtue, an analysis of personality and virtue, and a treatment of values in psychological science. Anyone interested in virtue and psychology will learn a great deal from reading this book.’

Nancy Snow - University of Kansas

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  • Chapter 1 - Virtue Theory
    pp 25-52


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