David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (1):53-79 (2004)
This paper addresses a recent suggestion that moral particularists can extend their view to countenance default reasons (at a first stab, reasons that are pro tanto unless undermined) by relying on certain background expectations of normality. I first argue that normality must be understood non-extensionally. Thus if default reasons rest on normality claims, those claims won't bestow upon default reasons any definite degree of extensional generality. Their generality depends rather on the contingent distributional aspects of the world, which no theory of reasons should purport to settle. Appeals to default reasons cannot therefore uniquely support particularism. But this argument also implies that if moral generalism entailed that moral reasons by necessity have invariant valence (in the natural extensional sense), it would be a non-starter. Since generalism is not a non-starter, my argument forces us to rethink the parameters of the generalism-particularism debate. Here I propose to clarify the debate by focusing on its modal rather than extensional aspects. In closing, I outline the sort of generalism that I think is motivated by my discussion, and then articulate some worries this view raises about the theoretical usefulness of the label ‘default reason’.
|Keywords||default reasons generics moral generalism moral particularism moral principles normality|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Maike Albertzart (2013). Principle-Based Moral Judgement. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):339-354.
Rebecca Stangl (2008). A Dilemma for Particularist Virtue Ethics. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):665-678.
Alan Thomas (2011). Another Particularism: Reasons, Status and Defaults. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):151-167.
Similar books and articles
Jonathan Dancy (2007). Defending the Right. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):85-98.
Brendan Larvor (2008). Moral Particularism and Scientific Practice. Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):492-507.
Vojko Strahovnik (2004). The Riddle of Aesthetic Principles. Acta Analytica 19 (33):189-208.
Anna Bergqvist (2010). Why Sibley is Not a Generalist After All. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1):1-14.
Pekka Väyrynen (2011). Moral Particularism. In Christian B. Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. 478-483.
Vojko Strahovnik, Matjaz Potrc & Mark Norris Lance (eds.) (2008). Challenging Moral Particularism. Routledge.
John Horty (2007). Reasons as Defaults. Philosophers' Imprint 7 (3):1-28.
Pekka Väyrynen (2006). Moral Generalism: Enjoy in Moderation. Ethics 116 (4):707-741.
Manuel Hernández-Iglesias (2006). Generalism Without Foundations. Acta Analytica 21 (2):71-86.
Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge (2007). Turning on Default Reasons. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):55-76.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #34,325 of 1,096,602 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #51,759 of 1,096,602 )
How can I increase my downloads?