David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 45 (3):472-503 (2011)
Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral generalists. In this paper I argue that we have good reasons to give up this commitment. In fact, I show that an examination of the literature on scientific explanation reveals that we are used to, and comfortable with, non-deductive explanations in almost all areas of inquiry. As a result, I argue that we have reason to believe that moral explanations need not be grounded in exceptionless moral principles.
|Keywords||Explanation Particularism Generalism|
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References found in this work BETA
W. D. Ross (2002). The Right and the Good. Clarendon Press.
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
Alasdair C. MacIntyre (2007). After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. University of Notre Dame Press.
Jonathan Dancy (2004). Ethics Without Principles. Oxford University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Alison Hills (2015). Understanding Why. Noûs 49 (2):n/a-n/a.
Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu (forthcoming). Can the Canberrans’ Supervenience Argument Refute Shapeless Moral Particularism? Erkenntnis:1-16.
John Maier (2013). The Argument From Moral Responsibility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2):1-19.
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