|Abstract||The term 'ethical particularist' has sometimes been used, in a broad and loose way, as a label for anyone who expresses hostility to the view that a decision about what we ought to do in some particular case can be mechanically 'read off' from a general moral principle or principles. Rather, it is urged, a correct moral verdict can only be reached by paying close attention to the individual case -- to what differentiates it from other cases as much as what it has in common with them. As well as an understanding of the correct moral principles, we need fine judgement, sensitivity and even something approaching a perceptual capacity to appreciate the saliences of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Particularism in this broad sense, which claims that a grasp of moral principles is insufficient for the correct moral appreciation of the particular case, has won many adherents in recent years. We will call this view, with which we agree, moral verdict particularism. It is a position explicitly held by intuitionists2 (and no doubt by some other moral theorists) as can be seen from Rawls' classic definition: Intuitionist theories, then, have two features: first they consist of a plurality of first principles which may conflict to give contrary directives in particular types of cases: and second, they include no explicit method, no priority rules, for weighing these principles against one another|
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