Particularism and moral education

Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):265 – 279 (2005)
Abstract
Some opponents of ethical particularism complain that particularists cannot give a plausible account of moral education. After considering and rejecting a number of arguments to this conclusion, I focus on the following objection: Particularism, at least in Jonathan Dancy's version, has nothing to say about moral education because it lacks a substantial account of moral competence. By Dancy's own admission, particularists can tell us little more than that a competent agent 'gets things right case by case'. I respond by reflecting on how we want our children to turn out, morally speaking. I argue that we can present a compelling story about our aspirations for our children's moral development that is consistent with particularism and that provides the beginnings of a plausible account of the competence we look to moral education to instil
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