Neither generalism nor particularism: Ethical correctness is located in general ethical theories

Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (2):155-175 (2004)
Abstract
In this article I shall be supporting two main claims. The first is that the essence of the difference between particularism and generalism lies in where they locate ethical correctness. The second is that generalism, although to be preferred to particularism, is not the final resting place for ethical correctness. Ultimately, ethical correctness resides in ethical theories that provide the rationale for generalism. Particularism is presented as a theory that allows attention to be paid to specific cases and shows a sensitivity to the particular case. Generalism, with its appeal to moral principles, is supposed to lack this sensitivity to specific cases. I argue that although this might be true of subsumptive generalism, it is not true of what I call judgmental generalism. This latter type of generalism retains an appeal to moral principles while requiring sensitivity to the particular case. I consider Kantian ethics as an example of this sort of generalism. Furthermore, I support the claim that this judgmental generalism is to be preferred to particularism. I argue against a prominent form of particularism, put forward by Jonathan Dancy, based on an appeal to the holism of reasons. This doctrine involves the claim that the value of a complex whole is not necessarily identical with the value of its parts. I show that Dancy’s discussion of this involves inconsistencies and also appears to incorporate subsumptive generalism. This statement of particularism is ultimately incoherent.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,392
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

35 ( #50,432 of 1,102,934 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #29,681 of 1,102,934 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.