“The Trivium: Revisiting Ancient Strategies for Character Formation.” Journal of Character Education. Forthcoming.
Book Review: Plato’s Moral Psychology, by Rachana Kamtekar. Published in the Journal of Moral Philosophy. June 2020.
Book Review: Developing the Virtues: Integrating Perspectives. Published in the Journal of Moral Philosophy. May 2019.
Book Review: The Character Gap, by Christian Miller. Published in The Journal of Character Education. December 2018.
CV in PDF.
I defended my dissertation in January of 2020.
My dissertation is entitled “Aretaic Exemplars: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Character Education.” In part, it is a moral emotions project on admiration. I examine admiration’s elicitors and action-tendencies, as well as the ways in which our admiration can err, such as by mistaking qualities like charisma and popularity for moral excellences. A key focus of my project is addressing the practical question of how we might mature admiration over the course of moral development, to move a learner from admiration to virtue. Briefly, my solution draws on the classical tradition, which moves a learner through various stages—grammar (virtue concepts), logic (discursive reasoning about moral motivations and reasons for action), and rhetoric (post-deliberative action). I address how this structure, accompanied by a number of imitative practices, offers a productive pedagogical sequence for how to move a learner from admiration to virtue.
My Current Research Projects:
This year, I am a recipient of the Society for Christian Philosophers Graduate Fellowship for Science Cross-Training, which permits me to train outside of my field of study in a discipline complementary to my work. I am cross-training in developmental psychology. I take classes and work in a child development lab where we study emotional development and attachment relationships. This positions me to ask better questions about prosocial emotional precursors of virtue. The fellowship has also introduced me to a new literature on habituation and sensitization, which has matured my sensibilities about the nature of hexis in Aristotle. This cross-training opportunity has made the university seem a lot smaller, and I intend to continue to pursue cross-disciplinary work in the future.
I currently have five articles under review–one pertaining to my dissertation, three pertaining to my cross-training research, and a final article on educating the virtue of humor. I love my work, and it is a privilege to engage with my peers in the field and to ask big questions.
Feel free to email me with any questions at sblittle6 (at) gmail.com.