The Templeton Foundation has recently funded The Character Project–which is being run by Christian Miller (Wake Forest). Given the focus of The Situationist and the relevance of the literature on the situational roots of behavior to character-based accounts of virtue (e.g., see here), readers of this blog should drop by and check out the details of the project. Here is a brief overview from their homepage:
The past 30 years have seen a resurgence of interest in character, particularly in the areas of psychology, philosophy, and theology. This work has given rise to a number of challenging questions, such as:
- (i) Do character traits such as honesty or compassion really exist?
- (ii) If they do exist, how prevalent are they, and what is their underlying psychological nature?
- (iii) Should character traits such as the virtues be the centerpiece of our best ethical theory?
- (iv) How should we go about improving our characters and overcoming our character flaws?
- (v) For those working in theology, should thinking about human and divine character be central to theological ethics?
The goal of the Character Project is to address these and a host of related questions, and thereby foster new advances in the study of character.
They recently posted the first RFP for the Psychology of Character:
Psychology of Character
A $1.5 million dollar RFP entitled “New Frontiers in the Psychology of Character” has been issued for work in psychology on the existence and nature of character and the relationship between character traits and beliefs, desires, identities, emotions, behavior, and situations. Full proposal requests would range between $50,000 and $200,000 for projects not to exceed two years in duration. We anticipate making 6-10 awards.
Full details about applying for the Psychology of Character funding competition can be found in PDF format here.
Hopefully, some of the readers of The Situationist will apply!