Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lack of Character

For example, taking situationism [as a theory of personality] seriously might inhibit the experience of a certain unreserved love; the situationist might be less able to feel, as Wittgenstein put it, "absolutely safe" in a relationship. But the loss of such experiences is a cost people should be willing to pay. For the costs on the other side are greater: Commitment to globalism [of traits within personality] threatens to poison understandings of self and others with disappointment and resentment on the one hand and delusion and hero-worship on the other.

In fact, engaging situationism can enable loving relationships, because affection for others would not be contingent on conformity to unrealistic standards of character. With luck, a situationist tuning of the emotions could increase our ever-short supply of compassion, forgiveness, and fair-mindedness. And these are things that are worth having in greater abundance.

Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior, John M. Doris

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