Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Character, Situation and Behaviour


Admission requirements

Good comprehension of English.


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 , Master’s Programmes in Philosophy (Dutch website)
See Timetables Philosophy 2011-2012 , Master’s Programmes in Philosophy (English website)

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.

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

Contact information

T.E. Bates


Specialisation (MA Philosophy): Ethics and Politics
Specialisations (MA Philosophy of a Specific Discipline): Philosophy of Humanities, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Political Science, Philosophy of Medical Sciences