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Character, Situation and Behaviour


Admission requirements

Bachelor students in Philosophy have completed the first year of the bachelor’s programme in Philosophy.
Exchange students have taken a number of either philosophy or psychology courses at their home universities.
Good comprehension of English.

Toehoorders / à la carte-studenten hebben alleen toegang tot deze cursus met toestemming van de docent.


Most people are comfortable using character ascriptions in everyday conversation. We willingly attribute actions to some trait or other; kindness, cruelty, generosity and so on. In recent years, though, some philosophers have given a critique of characterological language based on the empirical findings from social psychology. This body of evidence seems to suggest that to a surprising extent our actions are the product of seemingly irrelevant situational factors. In this course we will systematically explore the situationist critique and assess it’s impact on our everyday understanding of character and behaviour.

Course objectives

Course objectives will be posted on Blackboard by the start of the course.


Tuesday, 9:00-12:00

See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2011-2012 , BA Wijsbegeerte (BA Plus-traject of Standaardtraject)
See Timetables Philosophy 2011-2012 , Timetable Undergraduate Courses in English

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Oral presentation and paper.



Reading list

  • John Doris, Lack of Character

  • Additional readings on Blackboard.


Please register for this course on uSis.

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Aanmelden à la carte en contractonderwijs

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs via:
Na aanmelding ook inschrijven voor cursus en tentamen(s) via uSis

Contact information

T.E. Bates


Specialisatie (BA Wijsbegeerte): Ethiek en Politieke filosofie