Generality and moral justification

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):79-96 (1996)
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Abstract

Demands for generality sometimes exert a powerful influence on our thinking, pressing us to treat more general moral positions, such as consequentialism, as superior to more specific ones, like those which incorporate agent-centered restrictions or prerogatives. I articulate both foundationalist and coherentist versions of the demands for generality and argue that we can best understand these demands in terms of a certain underlying metaphysical commitment. I consider and reject various arguments which might be offered in support of this commitment, and argue that generality may not be the weapon in moral argument that it is sometimes thought to be

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Don Loeb
University of Vermont

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