The Character and Culture Research Group

The research group is a joint theoretical and applied research group by Memeology and Staffordshire University and is a development project of The Institute for Applied Creative Thinking (I-ACT).

Our research has been continuing for at least the last two years to the point where we felt it beneficial to structure our theoretical and applied research in a new research group, which emerged from a conviction that virtue ethics can make a significant contribution to the way we understand and respond to a variety of challenges facing society today – but that in order to do so there must be a critical revision of its central concepts, a revision, informed by contemporary philosophy and science.

Virtue ethics shifts the focus of ethical reflection away from an oversimplified evaluation of acts towards a consideration of how best to live a good life. Since Aristotle, it has been understood that living well requires the cultivation of character. But how is character to be understood today, in view of the powerful social, cultural, economic, and political forces that shape the way we live?

We believe that a response to this question depends on treating the relation between character and culture as a dynamic process, and that this can shed light on the relation between individuals and the social groups and organisations to which they belong – to the benefit of both.