The metaphysics of moral conflict
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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One of the more fundamental questions raised by the generalism–particularism debate in ethics is just what a right-making factor (or reason) is. I contrast two possible conceptions of such factors and defend the second. The first understands right-making factors in terms of moral laws, and variants of it are advanced by writers on either side of the generalism–particularism debate. The second understands right-making factors in terms of right-making properties conceived dispositionally—i.e., as powers, capacities, etc. I defend the latter, dispositionalist conception on the basis of its ability to elucidate and explain various features that right-making factors are widely taken to have, including the ability to contribute to the overall moral status of an action without determining it. I also offer dispositionalist conceptions of other morally relevant factors, including defeaters, intensifiers, and disablers. And I deploy these conceptions to elucidate and defend moral holism (or the holism of the right-making relation).
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