Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):77-84 (2007)

Authors
Alan Thomas
University of York
Abstract
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 reasoning is plausibly a form of abductive reasoning, and is therefore non-monotonic, any arbitrary addition of information can change the degree of support evidence offers for a conclusion. Given this arbitrariness, it is no objection to the particularist if he or she represents the ‘normative landscape as flat’ in a way that does not display the ‘obvious’ relevance of certain considerations. The normative landscape is flat and our best account of practical reasoning represents it precisely as such. Appealing to a distinction between practical reasoning and moral reasoning does not help to resurrect this pseudoproblem for particularism. Key Words: abductive inference • default reasons • moral particularism • practical reasoning.
Keywords default reasons   practical reasoning   moral particularism   abductive inference
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DOI 10.1177/1740468106072788
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References found in this work BETA

Enticing Reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - In R. Jay Wallace, Philip Pettit, Samuel Scheffler & Michael Smith (eds.), Reason and Value: Themes From the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Clarendon Press. pp. 91-118.
Moral Generalities Revisited.Margaret Olivia Little - 2000 - In Brad Hooker & Margaret Olivia Little (eds.), Moral Particularism. Clarendon Press.
Particularism and Antitheory.Mark Lance & Margaret Little - 2006 - In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 567--594.
Practical Inference.A. J. Kenny - 1966 - Analysis 26 (3):65 - 75.

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Citations of this work BETA

Another Particularism: Reasons, Status and Defaults. [REVIEW]Alan Thomas - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):151-167.
Particularism Doesn’T Flatten.Amelia Hicks - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (3):339-362.
Reason Holism, Individuation, and Embeddedness.Peter Tsu - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1091-1103.

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Normative Practical Reasoning.Christian Piller - 2001 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 75 (1):175 - 216.
Normative Practical Reasoning: John Broome.John Broome - 2001 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 75 (1):175–193.

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