Utilitas 19 (2):220-242 (2007)

Authors
Jeffrey Brand
George Washington University
Abstract
Principle monists believe that our moral duties, such as fidelity and non-maleficence, can be justified in terms of one basic moral principle. Principle pluralists disagree, some suggesting that only an excessive taste for simplicity or a desire to mimic natural science could lead one to endorse monism. In Ideal Code, Real World (Oxford, 2000), Brad Hooker defends a monist theory, employing the method of reflective equilibrium to unify the moral duties under a version of rule consequentialism. Hooker's arguments have drawn powerful criticisms from pluralists such as Alan Thomas, Phillip Montague and Philip Stratton-Lake. Against these critics, I argue that Hooker's monism enjoys certain practical advantages associated with the simplicity of a single basic principle. These advantages are often overlooked because they appear primarily in cases of second-order deliberation, in which one must decide whether our basic moral duties support a certain derivative duty. I argue that these advantages of monism over pluralism are analogous to the advantages that generalists claim over moral particularism. Because pluralists are generalists, I conclude that they are in an awkward dialectical position to dismiss Hooker's monism for the reasons they usually offer
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0953820807002488
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,226
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Well-Being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lectures 1984.Amartya Sen - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (4):169-221.
An Unconnected Heap of Duties?David McNaughton - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185):433-447.
Moral Rules.Russ Shafer-Landau - 1997 - Ethics 107 (4):584-611.
Two Levels of Pluralism.Susan Wolf - 1992 - Ethics 102 (4):785-798.
Vulgar Consequentialism.Joel J. Kupperman - 1980 - Mind 89 (355):321-337.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Another Particularism: Reasons, Status and Defaults. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):151-167.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
100 ( #115,655 of 2,499,684 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #418,206 of 2,499,684 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes