David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoria 75 (2):100-116 (2009)
Moral particularists have seen Wittgenstein as a close ally. One of the main reasons for this is that particularists such as Jonathan Dancy and John McDowell have argued that Wittgenstein's so-called "rule-following considerations" (RFCs) provide support for their skepticism about the existence and/or role of rules and principles in ethics. In this paper, I show that while Wittgenstein's RFCs challenge the notion that competence with language, i.e., the ability to apply concepts properly, is like mechanically following a rule, he does not reject the idea that there are rules that govern proper use of language. I then argue that while the RFCs may, at best, support a weak form of particularism that denies that moral competence is dependent on an explicit grasp of rules, they do not support a stronger version of particularism that denies that there are any true rules or principles in ethics.
|Keywords||Wittgenstein moral particularism reasons principles rule‐following|
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References found in this work BETA
Saul A. Kripke (1982). Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Harvard University Press.
Jonathan Dancy (2004). Ethics Without Principles. Oxford University Press.
W. D. Ross (2002). The Right and the Good. Clarendon Press.
Robert B. Brandom (1994). Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Harvard University Press.
John Henry McDowell (1998). Mind, Value, and Reality. Harvard University Press.
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