Defending semantic generalism

Analysis 67 (296):303–311 (2007)
Abstract
‘Particularism’ is a meta-ethical theory resulting from a holistic doctrine in the theory of reasons. According to Jonathan Dancy, the foremost contemporary proponent of particularism, ‘a feature that is a reason in favour of an action in one case may be no reason at all in another, or even a reason against’ (2004: 190). From this, Dancy claims, it follows that the ‘possibility of moral thought and judgement does not depend on the provision of a suitable supply of moral principles’ (2004: 7). This doctrine is of significant interest and import in its own right, and accordingly is the subject of considerable critical attention. The concern of this paper, however, is not meta-ethics but semantics.
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