Ethics Without Principles

Oxford University Press (2004)
In this much-anticipated book, Jonathan Dancy offers the only available full-scale treatment of particularism in ethics, a view with which he has been associated for twenty years. Dancy now presents particularism as the view that the possibility of moral thought and judgement does not in any way depend on an adequate supply of principles. He grounds this claim on a form of reasons-holism, holding that what is a reason in one case need not be any reason in another, and maintaining that moral reasons are no different in this respect from others. Ethics Without Principles offers detailed treatment and criticism of opposing positions of all sorts, with useful summaries. It also contains three chapters on the nature of what Dancy calls 'contributory' reasons, which, though the topic of much interest at the moment, are not often discussed in anything like the detail given here. And it offers a distinctive form of value-holism to go with the holism of reasons. As Dancy's definitive statement on particularism, the book will be required reading for all those working on moral philosophy and ethical theory.
Keywords Ethics  Principle (Philosophy
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Call number BJ1012.D262 2004
ISBN(s) 0199297681   0199270023   9780199297689   9780199270026  
DOI 10.1215/00318108-2006-027
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Kelly Trogdon (2013). Grounding: Necessary or Contingent? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
Paul Boghossian (2012). What is Inference? Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.

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