Particularism and individuation: Disappearing, not varying, features [Book Review]

Acta Analytica 21 (2):54-70 (2006)
Particularism denies that invariant valence is always possible and that it is needed in sound moral theorising. It relies on variabilism, namely the idea that the relevant features of a given situation can alter their moral valence even across seemingly similar cases. An alternative model is defended (the “disappearing model”), in which changes in the overall relevance of complex cases are explained by re-individuation of the constituent features: certain features do not alter their relevance in consequence of contextual changes, but rather they disappear, either because they are embedded within larger complexes or are substituted by different features. This view is shown to be compatible with the main premises of variabilism and explanatorily superior to it. Nevertheless, it does not involve particularism, but rather a peculiar form of generalism.
Keywords particularism  variabilism  generalism  individuation  Dancy  resultance  enablers
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