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Particularism and antitheory

In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 567--594 (2006)

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  1. Practical Reasoning and Normative Relevance: A Reply to McKeever and Ridge.Alan Thomas - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):77-84.
    A putative problem for the moral particularist is that he or she fails to capture the normative relevance of certain considerations that they carry on their face, or the intuitive irrelevance of other considerations. It is argued in response that mastery of certain topic-specific truisms about a subject matter is what it is for a reasonable interlocutor to be engaged in a moral discussion, but the relevance of these truisms has nothing to do with the particularist/generalist dispute. Given that practical (...)
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  • Particular Reasons.Selim Berker - 2007 - Ethics 118 (1):109-139.
    Moral particularists argue that because reasons for action are irreducibly context-dependent, the traditional quest in ethics for true and exceptionless moral principles is hopelessly misguided. In making this claim, particularists assume a general framework according to which reasons are the ground floor normative units undergirding all other normative properties and relations. They then argue that there is no cashing out in finite terms either (i) when a given non-normative feature gives rise to a reason for or against action, or (ii) (...)
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  • Turning on Default Reasons.Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):55-76.
    Particularism takes an extremely ecumenical view of what considerations might count as reasons and thereby threatens to ‘flatten the moral landscape’ by making it seem that there is no deep difference between, for example, pain, and shoelace color. After all, particularists have claimed, either could provide a reason provided a suitable moral context. To avoid this result, some particularists draw a distinction between default and non-default reasons. The present paper argues that all but the most deflationary ways of drawing this (...)
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  • The Structure of the Virtues : A Study of Thomas Aquinas’s and Godfrey of Fontaines's Accounts of Moral Goodness.Alexander Stöpfgeshoff - 2018 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This dissertation is a study of Thomas Aquinas’s and Godfrey of Fontaines’s moral philosophies. In this study, I conduct a detailed analysis of two Aristotelian commitments concerning the character virtues, namely, The Plurality of the Character Virtues and The Connection of the Character Virtues. Both Aquinas and Godfrey think that there are many distinct character virtues, however, one cannot possess these character virtues in separation from each other. In Chapter I, it is established that Aquinas believes in the plurality of (...)
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  • Scientific Explanation and Moral Explanation.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):472-503.
    Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral generalists. In (...)
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  • Moral Particularism and Moral Generalism.Michael Ridge & Sean McKeever - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • The Fictional Character of Pornography.Shen-yi Liao & Sara Protasi - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 100-118.
    We refine a line of feminist criticism of pornography that focuses on pornographic works' pernicious effects. A.W. Eaton argues that inegalitarian pornography should be criticized because it is responsible for its consumers’ adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in the same way that other fictions are responsible for changes in their consumers’ attitudes. We argue that her argument can be improved with the recognition that different fictions can have different modes of persuasion. This is true of film and television: a (...)
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  • Ross and the Particularism/Generalism Divide.Kristian Olsen - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):56-75.
    W. D. Ross is commonly considered to be a generalist about prima facie duty but a particularist about absolute duty. That is, many philosophers hold that Ross accepts that there are true moral principles involving prima facie duty but denies that there are any true moral principles involving absolute duty. I agree with the former claim: Ross surely accepts prima facie moral principles. However, in this paper, I challenge the latter claim. Ross, I argue, is no more a particularist about (...)
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  • From Ethics to Aesthetics: A Reconsideration of Buddhist Monastic Rules in the Light of Michel Foucault's Work on Ethics.Malcolm Voyce - 2015 - Contemporary Buddhism 16 (2):299-329.
    This article considers the recent debate over the nature of Buddhist ethics largely conducted by scholars who have argued in different ways that Buddhist ethics may be assimilated to or may correspond with different forms of western ethical theory.I argue that the interpretation of Buddhist texts, and in particular the Vinaya, in light of western ethical theory creates misunderstanding. I argue that in each case of a supposed ethical dilemma, Buddhist ethics should be seen as empirical, since the ultimate point (...)
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  • Moral Particularism.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2013 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Realism, Naturalism, and Hazlett’s Challenge Concerning Epistemic Value.Timothy Perrine - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-19.
    According to Realism about Epistemic Value, there is such a thing as epistemic value and it is appropriate to evaluate things—e.g., beliefs—for epistemic value because there is such a thing as epistemic value. Allan Hazlett's A Luxury of the Understanding is a sustained critique of Realism. Hazlett challenges proponent of Realism to answer explanatory questions while not justifiably violating certain constraints, including two proposed naturalistic constraints. Hazlett argues they cannot. Here I defend Realism. I argue that it is easy for (...)
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  • A Defense of a Particularist Research Program.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2):181-199.
    What makes some acts morally right and others morally wrong? Traditionally, philosophers have thought that in order to answer this question we must find and formulate exceptionless moral principles—principles that capture all and only morally right actions. Utilitarianism and Kantianism are paradigmatic examples of such attempts. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in a novel approach—Particularism—although its precise content is still a matter of controversy. In this paper I develop and motivate a new formulation of particularism (...)
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  • Why Moral Principles?Joe Mintoff - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1133-1159.
    Jonathan Dancy challenges moral generalists to come up with a picture of moral thought and judgment which requires a provision of principles that cover the ground. The aim of this paper is to provide a response to Dancy's challenge. I argue that reasonable moral thought requires us to explain ourselves when we have reason to doubt our moral judgment about some particular case, that any such explanation commits us to a general moral principle over some domain of discussion and that (...)
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  • Another Particularism: Reasons, Status and Defaults. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):151-167.
    This paper makes the non-monotonicity of a wide range of moral reasoning the basis of a case for particularism. Non-monotonicity threatens practical decision with an overwhelming informational complexity to which a form of ethical generalism seems the best response. It is argued that this impression is wholly misleading: the fact of non-monotonicity is best accommodated by the defence of four related theses in any theory of justification. First, the explanation of and defence of a default/challenge model of justification. Secondly, the (...)
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  • Moral Principles As Moral Dispositions.Luke Robinson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):289-309.
    What are moral principles? In particular, what are moral principles of the sort that (if they exist) ground moral obligations or—at the very least—particular moral truths? I argue that we can fruitfully conceive of such principles as real, irreducibly dispositional properties of individual persons (agents and patients) that are responsible for and thereby explain the moral properties of (e.g.) agents and actions. Such moral dispositions (or moral powers) are apt to be the metaphysical grounds of moral obligations and of particular (...)
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  • Rules and Principles in Moral Decision Making: An Empirical Objection to Moral Particularism.Jennifer L. Zamzow - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):123-134.
    It is commonly thought that moral rules and principles, such as ‘Keep your promises,’ ‘Respect autonomy,’ and ‘Distribute goods according to need ,’ should play an essential role in our moral deliberation. Particularists have challenged this view by arguing that principled guidance leads us to engage in worse decision making because principled guidance is too rigid and it leads individuals to neglect or distort relevant details. However, when we examine empirical literature on the use of rules and principles in other (...)
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  • Reasons and Moral Principles.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. pp. 839-61.
    This paper is a survey of the generalism-particularism debate and related issues concerning the relationship between normative reasons and moral principles.
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  • Particularism in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):121-147.
    In this essay I offer a new particularist reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I argue that the interpretation I present not only helps us to resolve some puzzles about Aristotle’s goals and methods, but it also gives rise to a novel account of morality—an account that is both interesting and plausible in its own right. The goal of this paper is, in part, exegetical—that is, to figure out how to best understand the text of the Nicomachean Ethics. But this paper (...)
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  • Moral Particularism.Pekka Väyrynen - 2011 - In Christian B. Miller (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 247-260.
    This paper is a survey of the generalism-particularism debate in ethics.
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  • Rational Argument in Moral Philosophy: Some Implications of Gordon Baker's Therapeutic Conception of Philosophy.Christopher Lawton - unknown
    This work is an investigation into philosophical method and rational argument in moral philosophy. It makes an original contribution to human understanding, by taking some of the tools and techniques that Gordon Baker identifies in the later work of Wittgenstein, and using them as a way of fending for oneself in an area of philosophy that neither Baker, nor Wittgenstein, wrote on. More specifically, a discussion of some different aspects of the contemporary literature on Dancy’s moral particularism is used as (...)
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  • Shapelessness and Predication Supervenience: A Limited Defense of Shapeless Moral Particularism.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):51-67.
    Moral particularism, on some interpretations, is committed to a shapeless thesis: the moral is shapeless with respect to the natural. (Call this version of moral particularism ‘shapeless moral particularism’). In more detail, the shapeless thesis is that the actions a moral concept or predicate can be correctly applied to have no natural commonality (or shape) amongst them. Jackson et al. (Ethical particularism and patterns, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000) argue, however, that the shapeless thesis violates the platitude ‘predication supervenes on (...)
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  • Case Studies Methodology in Applied Ethics.Mohammad Taqi Eslami - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 20 (75):94-112.
    In Applied Ethics, methodology refers to the method of justification and solution of moral issues. There are three main methods in this area that have risen in contrast to one another: the first method is syllogism which emphasizes the importance of moral theories and their application in justifying moral issues and employs an ascending view; the second method is inductivism which has a particularistic and anti-theory approach and supports a descending view; the third method is principalism, which tries to strike (...)
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  • The Real Direction of Dancy’s Moral Particularism.Edmund Wall - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):587-612.
    Jonathan Dancy, who defends a version of moral particularism, is committed to the view that any feature or reason for action might, in logical terms, have a positive moral valence in one context, a negative moral valence in a different context, and no moral valence at all in yet another context. In my paper, I attempt to demonstrate that, despite the denial by Dancy that proposed grounding properties with invariant moral valences may play a foundational role in morality, his own (...)
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  • Defeasibility And The Normative Grasp Of Context.Margaret Little & Mark Lance - 2004 - Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):435-455.
    In this article, we present an analysis of defeasible generalizations -- generalizations which are essentially exception-laden, yet genuinely explanatory -- in terms of various notions of privileged conditions. We argue that any plausible epistemology must make essential use of defeasible generalizations so understood. We also consider the epistemic significance of the sort of understanding of context that is required for understanding of explanatory defeasible generalizations on any topic.
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  • Resolving Conflicts of Rights: Russ Shafer-Landau and Judith Jarvis Thomson Revisited.Patricia Louise Soriano - 2018 - In DLSU Philosophy Senior Research Colloquium Proceedings. Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines: pp. 230-248.
    This manuscript examines two accounts that discuss rights disputes. On the one hand, Russ Shafer-Landau argues for specificationism (or what is referred to here as SA), which deems rights as having innate limitations. One the other, Judith Jarvis Thomson defends infringement theory (or what is referred to here as IVA), which views rights to be competing factors. Shafer-Landau in “Specifying Absolute Rights” endeavored to discredit Thomson’s IVA and promote his favored theory. This material responds to and criticizes the claims Shafer-Landau (...)
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  • Human Ethics and Welfare Particularism: An Exploration of the Social Welfare Regime in Lebanon.Rana Jawad - 2007 - Ethics and Social Welfare 1 (2):123-146.
    This paper presents a profile of the welfare regime in Lebanon which is posited on the twin precepts of human ethics and welfare particularism. It highlights the key role that moral values play in the conceptualization and implementation of social policy, as well as in the measurement of welfare outcomes. This is marked by the dominance of duty, traditionalism and elitism in the ethics of religious welfare in Lebanon. The paper argues that the social welfare regime in Lebanon overlaps with (...)
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