Volume 44, 2019
Jennifer Cole Wright
Commentary On The Character Gap
A Case For Vice
The Character Gap by Christian Miller is an excellent discussion of how the empirical research conducted on virtue bears upon the larger question of whether or not people are virtuous, especially when we consider the question through the lens of a philosophically rigorous account of virtue. His conclusion is that overall people are not virtuous—but then, neither are they vicious. In this commentary, I challenge the latter. I explore two alternative ways of conceiving of vice and utilize a range of empirical findings—on topics ranging from bullying, to sexual assault, to factory farming—to argue that perhaps vice is much more prevalent than Miller believes, a worry that deserves our attention and concern.