Featured Research Project: Philosophy & Psychology

Student-faculty research opportunities abound throughout each school year and beyond. Guille del Rio Gonzalez '24 recently worked with Kelley Annesley, assistant professor of philosophy, on a research project that touches two academic subject areas.

Del Rio Gonzalez and Kelley Annesley conducted research that works at the intersection of philosophy and psychology, a place where the student has been exploring questions about the relationship between empirical studies of character and virtue and the ethical concept of virtue.

“The product of the summer research is a paper Guille will continue to work on as part of his honors thesis and will use as part of his applications to graduate school,” Annesley said. “In terms of a brief summary of the findings, in the paper, Guille argues that the empirical psychological data that some philosophers take to debunk the existence of virtue in fact fails to show that the idea of virtue that virtue ethicists posit does not exist.”

In the Student’s Own Words:

"For my summer research, I investigated the impact that empirical evidence regarding moral character and behavior in moral contexts has on moral theories such as Virtue Ethics,” del Rio Gonzalez said. “I mainly focused on a view called “situationism” which points to empirical studies to prove the inadequacy of the psychological commitments involved in the moral theory of Virtue Ethics. I argue that the empirical evidence situationism uses does not target the traditional virtues and vices that Virtue Ethics defends."

Guille del Rio Gonzalez, class of 2024, from Lleida, Spain
Philosophy and Psychology double major

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