Dual-Process Theories in Moral Psychology

pp 271-295


Ethos, Eidos, Habitus A Social Theoretical Contribution to Morality and Ethics

  • Nathan EmmerichAffiliated withVisiting Research Fellow, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast Email author 

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This essay sets out a practice theory perspective on morality and ethics within a Bourdieuan frame. The terms ethos and eidos are developed as field level accounts of morality – the normative character or structure of a society of culture – and ethics or, rather, the collective socio-logic of ethical thinking. I then discuss the idea that, consistent with Bourdieu’s social theory, social structures – such as ethos and eidos – are ontologically complicit with the systems of dispositions constitutive of habitus. Following my discussion of this idea – that the structures of habitus (systems of dispositions) stand in a homologous relationship with the structures of the social fields within which they were developed – I turn to some recent research in moral psychology. I attempt to show that the view I have outlined can assist us in understanding the picture of morality and ethics emerging from this scholarship.