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Ethical particularism and patterns

In Brad Hooker & Margaret Olivia Little (eds.), Moral Particularism. Oxford University Press. pp. 79--99 (2000)

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  1. Defending Particularism From Supervenience/Resultance Attack.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (4):387-402.
    I take the debate between the particularists and the principlists to be centered on the issue of whether there are true moral principles. One argument the principlists often appeal to in support of their claim that there are true moral principles is the argument from supervenience. Roughly, the argument is made up of the following three statements: (P1) If the thesis of moral supervenience holds, then there are true moral principles. (P2) The thesis of moral supervenience holds. (C) There are (...)
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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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  • Moral Particularism.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2013 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • 'Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics'.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
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  • Experience and Reason.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Rero Doc.
    This collection brings together a selection of my recently published or forthcoming articles. What unites them is their common concern with one of the central ambitions of philosophy, namely to get clearer about our first-personal perspective onto the world and our minds. Three aspects of that perspective are of particular importance: consciousness, intentionality, and rationality. The collected essays address metaphysical and epistemological questions both concerning the nature of each of these aspects and concerning the various connections among them. More generally, (...)
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  • The Limits of Aesthetic Empiricism.Fabian Dorsch - 2014 - In Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.), Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 75-100.
    In this chapter, I argue against empiricist positions which claim that empirical evidence can be sufficient to defeasibly justify aesthetic judgements, or judgements about the adequacy of aesthetic judgements, or sceptical judgements about someone's capacity to form adequate aesthetic judgements. First, empirical evidence provides neither inferential, nor non-inferential justification for aesthetic opinions. Second, while empirical evidence may tell us how we do respond aesthetically to artworks, it cannot tell us how we should respond to them. And, third, empirical insights into (...)
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  • The Aesthetic Relevance of Empirical Findings.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Kongress-Akten der Deutschen Gesellschaft Für Ästhetik 2:1-21.
    Empirical findings may be relevant for aesthetic evaluation in at least two ways. First — within criticism — they may help us to identify the aesthetic value of objects. Second— whithin philosophy — they may help us to decide which theory of aesthetic value and evaluation to prefer. In this paper, I address both kinds of relevance. My focus is thereby on empirical evidence gathered, not by means of first-personal experiences, but by means of third-personal scientific investigations of individual artworks (...)
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  • THE SNAKE AND THE ROUNDABOUT: ETHICAL PARTICULARISM AND THE PATTERNS OF NORMATIVE INDUCTION.R. Kellogg Frederic - 2016 - DUC IN ALTUM CADERNOS DE DIREITO 8 (16).
    Using two examples of ethical choice, Philippa Foot’s snake and the traffic roundabout, this paper offers an account of normative induction that characterizes particularism and generalism as stages of normative inquiry, rather than rival accounts of moral knowledge and motivation. Ethical particularism holds that the evaluative cannot be “cashed out” in propositional form, and that it is descriptively “shapeless.” Drawing on examples from law, this paper claims that, while individual normative inquiry may be viewed as encountering a shapeless particularist context (...)
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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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  • Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2016 - Topoi:1-10.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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  • Ethical Reductionism.Neil Sinhababu - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):32-52.
    Ethical reductionism is the best version of naturalistic moral realism. Reductionists regard moral properties as identical to properties appearing in successful scientific theories. Nonreductionists, including many of the Cornell Realists, argue that moral properties instead supervene on scientific properties without identity. I respond to two arguments for nonreductionism. First, nonreductionists argue that the multiple realizability of moral properties defeats reductionism. Multiple realizability can be addressed in ethics by identifying moral properties uniquely or disjunctively with properties of the special sciences. Second, (...)
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  • Making Up Your Mind: How Language Enables Self‐Knowledge, Self‐Knowability and Personhood.Philip Pettit - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):3-26.
    If language is to serve the basic purpose of communicating our attitudes, we must be constructed so as to form beliefs in those propositions that we truthfully assert on the basis of careful assent. Thus, other things being equal, I can rely on believing those things to which I give my careful assent. And so my ability to assent or dissent amounts to an ability to make up my mind about what I believe. This capacity, in tandem with a similar (...)
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  • Three Mistakes About Doing Good (And Bad).Philip Pettit - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):1-25.
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  • Are There Indefeasible Epistemic Rules?Darren Bradley - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...)
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  • Argumentos de Superveniência Contra o Realismo Moral Robusto.Wilson Mendonça - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (1).
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  • Rationalism and the Content of Intuitive Judgements.Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2011 - Mind 120 (478):263-327.
    It is commonly held that our intuitive judgements about imaginary problem cases are justified a priori, if and when they are justified at all. In this paper I defend this view — ‘rationalism’ — against a recent objection by Timothy Williamson. I argue that his objection fails on multiple grounds, but the reasons why it fails are instructive. Williamson argues from a claim about the semantics of intuitive judgements, to a claim about their psychological underpinnings, to the denial of rationalism. (...)
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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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  • Neo-Kantian Constructivism and Metaethics.Kirk Surgener - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    Christine Korsgaard has attempted to defend a distinct approach to metaethics – Neo-Kantian Constructivism. Not only does she present a positive case for her own view, she also attacks existing metaethical positions and even the disctinctions that metaethics has traditionally relied on. This thesis is a sustained examination of this position. I consider whether Korsgaard can legitimately claim to be offering a metaethical position at all, providing her with some defence against the scepticism of some metaethicists. I also examine her (...)
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  • Naturalism And Normativity: Reply to McNaughton and Rawling.David McNaughton, Piers Rawling & Sabina Lovibond - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):187-203.
    McNaughton and Rawling's anti-reductionist intentions are to be welcomed, but are not well served by their continuing adherence to a neo-Humean notion of the 'descriptive'. Their too-willing acceptance of this notion is reflected in a denial of appropriate dialectical weight to considerations about the way 'pattern' disappears from the domain of value when we try to characterize the constituent features of the latter in non-evaluative terms. The need for a satisfactory account of the immanence of value in nature is real (...)
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  • The Armchair and the Trolley: An Argument for Experimental Ethics.Guy Kahane - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):421-445.
    Ethical theory often starts with our intuitions about particular cases and tries to uncover the principles that are implicit in them; work on the ‘trolley problem’ is a paradigmatic example of this approach. But ethicists are no longer the only ones chasing trolleys. In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have also turned to study our moral intuitions and what underlies them. The relation between these two inquiries, which investigate similar examples and intuitions, and sometimes produce parallel results, is puzzling. Does (...)
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  • Moral Principles Are Not Moral Laws.Luke Robinson - 2007 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2 (3):1-22.
    What are moral principles? The assumption underlying much of the generalism–particularism debate in ethics is that they are (or would be) moral laws: generalizations or some special class thereof, such as explanatory or counterfactual-supporting generalizations. I argue that this law conception of moral principles is mistaken. For moral principles do at least three things that moral laws cannot do, at least not in their own right: explain certain phenomena, provide particular kinds of support for counterfactuals, and ground moral necessities, “necessary (...)
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  • The Riddle of Aesthetic Principles.Vojko Strahovnik - 2004 - Acta Analytica 19 (33):189-208.
    The problem of aesthetic principles and that of the nature of aesthetic reasons get confronted. If aesthetic reasons play an important role in our aesthetic evaluations and judgments, then both some general aesthetic principles and rules could support them (aesthetic generalism) or again their nature may be particularistic (aesthetic particularism). A recent argument in support of aesthetic generalism as proposed by Oliver Conolly and Bashshar Haydar is presented and criticized for its misapprehension of particularism. Their position of irreversible aesthetic generalism (...)
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  • Warring Tautologies: Moral Dissent from a Cognitivist Perspective.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2009 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 8 (1):125-145.
    It is commonly thought that the prevalence of moral dissent poses a problem for the moral cognitivist, forcing her to diagnose either a lot of misunderstanding, or a lot of unexplained observational error. Since mere misunderstanding can be ruled out in most cases of moral dissent, and since the diagnosis of widespread unexplained error is interpretively unstable, prevalent dissent has pushed many philosophers towards non-cognitivism. In this essay, I argue that once a diachronic, pragmatist theory of language along the lines (...)
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  • Supervenience, Repeatability, & Expressivism.Emad H. Atiq - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Expressivists traditionally explain normative supervenience by saying it is a conceptual truth. I argue against this tradition in two steps. First, I show the modal claim that stands in need of explanation has been stated imprecisely. Classic arguments in metaethics for normative supervenience and those that rely on it as a premise presuppose a constraint on the supervenience base that is rarely (if ever) made explicit: the repeatability of the non-normative properties on which the normative supervenes. Non-normative properties are repeatable (...)
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  • Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
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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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  • Ethics in the Face of Uncertainty: Judgement Not Rules.Michael Luntley - 2003 - Business Ethics 12 (4):325-333.
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  • Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation.David J. Chalmers & Frank Jackson - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):315-61.
    Is conceptual analysis required for reductive explanation? If there is no a priori entailment from microphysical truths to phenomenal truths, does reductive explanation of the phenomenal fail? We say yes . Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no.
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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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  • Thinking Without Global Generalisations: A Cognitive Defence of Moral Particularism.Nancy Salay - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):390 – 411.
    In their article entitled “Ethical Particularism and Patterns”, Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit, and Michael Smith (JPS henceforth) argue that moral particularism is a cognitively implausible theory since it appears to entail the view that one might have a skill that is not grounded in an ability to recognise and represent natural patterns in the world. This charge echoes the complaints of computational theorists of cognition against their embodied cognition counterparts, namely that, theories of cognition that eschew talk of mental representation (...)
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  • The Case Against Evaluative Realism.Dan López de Sa - 2006 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 21 (3):277-294.
    In this paper I offer a characterization of evaluative realism, present the intuitive case against it, and offer two considerations to support it further: one concerning the internalist connection between values and motivation, and the other concerning the intuitibve causal inefficacy of evaluative properties. The considerations ultimately rely on the former intuitions themselves, but are not devoid of interest, as they might make one revise what one took to be his own realistic supporting intuitions, if such one had.
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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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  • Defending Semantic Generalism.Daniel Whiting - 2007 - Analysis 67 (4):303–311.
    ‘Particularism’ is a meta-ethical theory resulting from a holistic doctrine in the theory of reasons. According to Jonathan Dancy, the foremost contemporary proponent of particularism, ‘a feature that is a reason in favour of an action in one case may be no reason at all in another, or even a reason against’ (2004: 190). From this, Dancy claims, it follows that the ‘possibility of moral thought and judgement does not depend on the provision of a suitable supply of moral principles’ (...)
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  • A Matter of Principle. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568 - 580.
    This is an early draft of a joint critical notice I am writing of Jonathan Dancy’s Ethics Without Principles and Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge’s Principled Ethics, for Noûs.
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  • Holism, Weight, and Undercutting.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344.
    Particularists in ethics emphasize that the normative is holistic, and invite us to infer with them that it therefore defies generalization. This has been supposed to present an obstacle to traditional moral theorizing, to have striking implications for moral epistemology and moral deliberation, and to rule out reductive theories of the normative, making it a bold and important thesis across the areas of normative theory, moral epistemology, moral psychology, and normative metaphysics. Though particularists emphasize the importance of the holism of (...)
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  • Depending on the Thick.Debbie Roberts - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):197-220.
    The claim that the normative depends on the non-normative is just as entrenched in metanormative theory as the claim that the normative supervenes on the non-normative. It is widely held to be a genuine truism, a conceptual truth that operates as a constraint on competence with normative concepts. Call it the dependence constraint. I argue that this status is unwarranted. While it is true that the normative is dependent, it is not a genuine truism, or a conceptual truth, that it (...)
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  • Moral Holism, Moral Generalism, and Moral Dispositionalism.Luke Robinson - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):331-360.
    Moral principles play important roles in diverse areas of moral thought, practice, and theory. Many who think of themselves as ‘moral generalists’ believe that moral principles can play these roles—that they are capable of doing so. Moral generalism maintains that moral principles can and do play these roles because true moral principles are statements of general moral fact (i.e. statements of facts about the moral attributes of kinds of actions, kinds of states of affairs, etc.) and because general moral facts (...)
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  • Teoría y Praxis de los Principios Bioéticos. Una reflexión crítica sobre la obra de Ricardo Maliandi y Oscar Thüer.Guillermo Lariguet - 2009 - Dilemata 1 (1).
    In the present philosophical reflection my purpose consists of revising two big points based on the book Theory and Practice of Bioethics Principles, written by Ricardo Maliandi and Oscar Thüer. The first point is linked with the problem of foundation of ethics proposed by the authors. The second point is linked with the problem related with the model of ethical applicability proposed by the authors.
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  • Case Classification, Similarities, Spaces of Reasons, and Coherences.Marcello Guarini - unknown
    A simple recurrent artificial neural network is used to classify situations as permissible or impermissible. The trained ANN can be understood as having set up a similarity space of cases at the level of its internal or hidden units. An analysis of the network’s internal representations is undertaken using a new visualization technique for state space approaches to understanding similarity. Insights from the literature on moral philosophy pertaining to contributory standards will be used to interpret the state space set up (...)
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  • What Does the Frame Problem Tell Us About Moral Normativity?Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):25-51.
    Within cognitive science, mental processing is often construed as computation over mental representations—i.e., as the manipulation and transformation of mental representations in accordance with rules of the kind expressible in the form of a computer program. This foundational approach has encountered a long-standing, persistently recalcitrant, problem often called the frame problem; it is sometimes called the relevance problem. In this paper we describe the frame problem and certain of its apparent morals concerning human cognition, and we argue that these morals (...)
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  • The Sky Over Canberra: Folk Discourse and Serious Metaphysics.Andrew Kenneth Jorgensen - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):365-383.
    I take up the task of examining how someone who takes seriously the ambitious programme of conceptual analysis advocated by the Canberra School can minimise the eliminative consequences which I argue the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis recipe of conceptual analysis is likely to have for many folk discourses. The objective is to find a stable means to preserve the constative appearance of folk discourse and to find it generally successful in its attempts to describe an external world, albeit in non-scientific terms that do (...)
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  • Moral Case Classification and the Nonlocality of Reasons.Marcello Guarini - 2013 - Topoi 32 (2):267-289.
    This paper presents the results of training an artificial neural network (ANN) to classify moral situations. The ANN produces a similarity space in the process of solving its classification problem. The state space is subjected to analysis that suggests that holistic approaches to interpreting its functioning are problematic. The idea of a contributory or pro tanto standard, as discussed in debates between moral particularists and generalists, is used to understand the structure of the similarity space generated by the ANN. A (...)
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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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  • Understanding Particularism.Karsten Klint Jensen & Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2005 - Theoria 71 (2):118-137.
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  • Ethics in the Face of Uncertainty: Judgement Not Rules.Michael Luntley - 2003 - Business Ethics 12 (4):325–333.
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  • Particularism, Generalism and the Counting Argument.Simon Kirchin - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):54–71.
    In this paper I argue for a particularist understanding of thick evaluative features, something that is rarely done and is fairly controversial. That is, I argue that sometimes that the fact that an act is just, say, could, in certain situations, provide one with a reason against performing the action. Similarly, selfishness could be right-making. To show this, I take on anti-particularist ideas from two much-cited pieces (by Crisp, and by McNaughton and Rawling), in the influential Moral Particularism anthology (eds.) (...)
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  • Jonathan Dancy. Ethics Without Principles (Oxford University Press, 2004)Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge. Principled Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2006). [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568-580.
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  • Preempting Principles: Recent Debates in Moral Particularism.Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1177-1192.
    Moral particularism, as recently defended, charges that traditional moral theorizing unduly privileges moral principles. Moral generalism defends a prominent place for moral principles. Because moral principles are often asked to play multiple roles, moral particularism aims at multiple targets. We distinguish two leading roles for moral principles, the role of standard and the role of guide. We critically survey some of the leading arguments both for and against principles so conceived.
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  • The Many Moral Particularisms.Michael Ridge - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):83 - 106.
    What place, if any, moral principles should or do have in moral life has been a longstanding question for moral philosophy. For some, the proposition that moral philosophy should strive to articulate moral principles has been an article of faith. At least since Aristotle, however, there has been a rich counter-tradition that questions the possibility or value of trying to capture morality in principled terms. In recent years, philosophers who question principled approaches to morality have argued under the banner of (...)
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  • Explaining Practical Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2018 - Topoi 37 (4):621-630.
    Ethical non-naturalists often charge that their naturalist competitors cannot adequately explain the distinctive normativity of moral or more broadly practical concepts. I argue that the force of the charge is mitigated, because non-naturalism is ultimately committed to a kind of mysterianism about the metaphysics of practical norms that possesses limited explanatory power. I then show that focusing on comparative judgments about the explanatory power of various metaethical theories raises additional problems for the non-naturalist, and suggest grounds for optimism that a (...)
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