Denise Vigani Awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Denise Vigani Awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Denise M. Vigani (PhD Candidate in Philosophy, City University of New York, Graduate Center) has been awarded a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for her “Construing Character: Virtue As a Cognitive-Affective Processing System“.

 Denise M. Vigani
Denise M. Vigani
Philosophy, City University of New York, The Graduate Center
Construing Character: Virtue as a Cognitive-Affective Processing System

This dissertation develops an empirically plausible account of neo-Aristotelian virtue based on the psychological model of personality as a cognitive-affective processing system. The psychological model holds that an individual’s subjective construal of a situation is crucial to understanding that individual’s behavior. The account of virtue developed in this dissertation begins, therefore, with an elaboration of the distinctive way in which the virtuous person construes situations. Aristotle’s method of individuating the virtues is employed to outline a framework of “thin” and “thick” accounts of individual virtues, where the former specifies the field of concern of the virtue and grounds the account in an Aristotelian notion of excellence, while the latter elaborates the particular cognitive-affective elements that constitute the virtue. As an example, the account is applied to the virtue of courage in order to show how the action guidance and assessment capabilities of virtue ethics remain intact.

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce the results of the 2014-15 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship competition. ACLS made 70 awards, which include a $30,000 stipend plus up to $8,000 for research and university fees, to advanced graduate students in their final year of dissertation writing. Fellows from 29 universities and nearly 20 fields of humanistic study were selected from a pool of close to 1,000 applicants through a rigorous, multi-stage peer review process.

“Scholars, at this critical juncture of their professional development, need the uninterrupted time to write and complete their dissertations that this fellowship provides,” said Matthew Goldfeder, ACLS director of fellowship programs. “ACLS enlists a panel of senior scholars, who themselves represent the diversity of the humanities, to select fellows poised to make significant contributions to knowledge and discourse over their careers.”

ACLS also hosts for fellows an intensive faculty-led seminar on preparing for the academic job market to further help propel them into their postgraduate careers. The program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information about the recipients and their projects, click here.