Authors
Daniel Nica
University of Bucharest
Abstract
This paper is a critical investigation about the historical origins of two contemporary approaches in ethics: moral particularism and moral generalism. Moral particularism states that there are no defensible moral principles and that moral thought doesn’t consist in the application of moral principles to cases, but in understanding the morally relevant features of an action, which vary from case to case. In opposition, moral generalism is the traditional claim that moral decisions are made by applying general rules to particular actions. Plato is often seen as a moral generalist for his appeal to Forms which are universal standards, while Aristotle is regarded as a precursor of moral particularism for stressing the importance of the “the prudence”, which is the intellectual capacity to perceive the irreducible specificity of a context, and the importance of “the means” which differs from person to person. First I will take Plato into discussion, and I will briefly reconstruct his theoretical account on Justice and virtue in order to establish his “generalist” orientation. Then I will analyze Aristotle’s alleged particularism by appealing to his texts and assessing some considerations of a few contemporary authors. At the end of the paper, I will question both particularism and generalism for the appropriation of the two ancient philosophers, on the ground that modern moral philosophy which is an action centered ethics is hard to reconcile with ancient moral thought which was an agent centered one.
Keywords moral particularism  moral generalism  Plato  Aristotle  virtue ethics  contextualism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Artworld.Arthur Danto - 1964 - Journal of Philosophy 61 (19):571-584.
Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics.Ted Cohen - 2002 - British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (1):1-12.
Traité de Logique.E. Goblot - 1919 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 16 (11):301-306.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Particularism.Pekka Väyrynen - 2011 - In Christian B. Miller (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. pp. 247-260.
Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal. [REVIEW]Vojko Strahovnik - 2007 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (21):512-518.
The Riddle of Aesthetic Principles.Vojko Strahovnik - 2004 - Acta Analytica 19 (33):189-208.
Usable Moral Principles.Pekka Väyrynen - 2008 - In Vojko Strahovnik, Matjaz Potrc & Mark Norris Lance (eds.), Challenging Moral Particularism. Routledge. pp. 75-106.
Moral Particularism: An Introduction.Simon Kirchin - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):8-15.
Generalism Without Foundations.Manuel Hernández-Iglesias - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (2):71-86.
Particularism in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):121-147.
Particularism and Default Reasons.Pekka Väyrynen - 2004 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (1):53-79.
Ethics Without Reasons?Roger Crisp - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):40-49.
Principle-Based Moral Judgement.Maike Albertzart - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):339-354.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-08-20

Total views
2,576 ( #1,538 of 2,506,511 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
227 ( #2,306 of 2,506,511 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes