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Clean HandsPhilosophical Lessons from Scrupulosity$
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Jesse S. Summers and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190058692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190058692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 March 2021

Character and Virtue

Character and Virtue

(p.77) 5 Character and Virtue
Clean Hands

Jesse S. Summers

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Oxford University Press

Scrupulosity is not religious devotion or moral virtue. Those with Scrupulosity are concerned with moral behavior primarily as a way to reduce their underlying doubts and anxiety. Moral character requires attention to, concern for, and responsiveness to the morally relevant features of situations, acts, and people. Moral character also requires a stable set of underlying traits and beliefs that noncoincidentally lead to the appropriate motivations and endorsements. Some with Scrupulosity are ego-dystonic, rejecting their scrupulous symptoms, but one might also reject one’s own character. Those whose Scrupulosity is ego-syntonic—who endorse their scrupulous symptoms—also differ from those with moral character because those with Scrupulosity display fixation on certain issues to the exclusion of others, are inflexible with respect to circumstances, are overly concerned with merely possible—not probable—events, have an inflated sense of personal responsibility, and care about moral issues for the wrong reasons.

Keywords:   character, virtue, fixation, inflexibility, personal responsibility, ego-dystonic, ego-syntonic

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