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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Mining the uncertain character gap

Byron Williams
Winston-Salem Journal
Originally posted May 26, 2018

What is moral character? That is the open-ended question that has remained so since human beings discovered the value of critical thinking. Individuals like Aristotle and Confucius have wrestled with it; others such as Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi sought to live out this perfect ideal in a rather imperfect way.

Wake Forest University philosophy professor Christian B. Miller grapples with this concept in his new book, “The Character Gap: How Good Are We?”

Utilizing empirical data from psychological research, Miller illustrates how humans can become better people. The difference between our virtues and vices may simply hinge on whether we can get away with it.

Miller offers a thesis that suggests our internal “character gap” may be the distance between the unrealistic virtue we hold for our personal behavior and reality, the way we see ourselves versus how others see us. Moral character is our philosophical DNA comprised of virtues and vices.

The information is here.