Critical Compatibilism

In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Knowing Art: Essays in Epistemology and Aesthetics. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 125-136 (2004)
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Isenbergian particularism is the view that we make no appeal to general principles in criticism. Sibleyan generalism is the view that we do make appeal to general reasons in criticism. I argue that Isenbergian particularism and Sibleyan generalism are compatible one with another. I refer to their conjunction as "critical compatibilism" and argue that we ought to accept it over its rivals: strong particularism (the view that we make appeal neither to general principles nor to general reasons in criticism) and strong generalism (the view that we make appeal both to general principles and to general reasons in criticism).

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James Shelley
Auburn University


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