Moral Particularism

Edited by Uri D. Leibowitz (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
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Summary

What role, if any, should principles play in our moral theorizing and in our moral practice? Generalists hold that moral principles are indispensable to morality. Particularists challenge this claim. As the leading particularist Jonathan Dancy describes it, particularism is the view that “moral thought and judgement in no way depends on a suitable provision of [moral principles].”  Dancy’s own work focused on developing a novel holistic theory of reasons according to which “what is a reason in one case may be no reason at all in another, or even a reason on the other side.” Dancy 2004 is a must read for anyone interested in this topic. Interest in particularism has grown over the past 20-30 years. There are now various formulations of the central particularist commitment and many interesting criticisms of the particularist research program (many of which are collected in this category). One of the central critical texts is McKeever & Ridge 2006. A very informative collection on the topic is Hooker & Little 2000, and more recently Potrc et al 2007.

Introductions Dancy 2009 Leibowitz 2009
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313 found
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  1. added 2020-05-26
    Particularism and Moral Theory: Principles and Particularisms: Richard Holton.Richard Holton - 2002 - Supplement to the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 76 (1):191-209.
    Should particularists about ethics claim that moral principles are never true? Or should they rather claim that any finite set of principles will not be sufficient to capture ethics? This paper explores and defends the possibility of embracing the second of these claims whilst rejecting the first, a position termed principled particularism. The main argument that particularists present for their position - the argument that holds that any moral conclusion can be superceded by further considerations - is quite compatible with (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-22
    A Theory of Hedged Moral Principles.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:91-132.
    This paper offers a general model of substantive moral principles as a kind of hedged moral principles that can (but don't have to) tolerate exceptions. I argue that the kind of principles I defend provide an account of what would make an exception to them permissible. I also argue that these principles are nonetheless robustly explanatory with respect to a variety of moral facts; that they make sense of error, uncertainty, and disagreement concerning moral principles and their implications; and that (...)
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  3. added 2020-02-11
    Human Agency: Language, and Duty, and Value. Philosophical Essays in Honor of J. O. Urmson. Jonathan Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik, C. C. W. Taylor.Paul Noordhof - 1990 - Ethics 100 (2):417-418.
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  4. added 2019-09-19
    Nature and the Best Life. Exploring the Natural Bases of Practical Normativity in Ancient Philosophy.Gabriela Rossi (ed.) - 2013 - Hildesheim - Zurich - New York: G. Olms.
    The papers included in this book explore various aspects of the relation between nature and practical normativity in Antiquity, from the Presocratic period to Neoplatonism. Leaving aside the question how much of contemporary naturalism is present in Ancient Philosophy, and whether that much is sufficient for finding traces of it in ancient naturalism, one may still ask the historical question of whether or not this is a feature that all ancient ethics share. To this effect, the following pages offer a (...)
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  5. added 2019-06-06
    Understanding the Role of Moral Principles in Business Ethics: A Kantian Perspective.Jeffery Smith & Wim Dubbink - 2011 - Business Ethics Quarterly 21 (2):205-231.
    Does effective moral judgment in business ethics rely upon the identification of a suitable set of moral principles? We address this question by examining a number of criticisms of the role that principles can play in moral judgment. Critics claim that reliance on principles requires moral agents to abstract themselves from actual circumstances, relationships and personal commitments in answering moral questions. This is said to enforce an artificial uniformity in moral judgment. We challenge these critics by developing an account of (...)
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  6. added 2019-06-06
    Reflections on Moral Disagreement, Relativism, and Skepticism About Rules.Denis Robinson - 2010 - Philosophical Topics 38 (2):131-156.
    Part 1 of this paper discusses some uses of arguments from radical moral disagreement—in particular, as directed against absolutist cognitivism—and surveys some semantic issues thus made salient. It may be argued that parties to such a disagreement cannot be using the relevant moral claims with exactly the same absolutist cognitive content. That challenges the absolutist element of absolutist cognitivism, which, combined with the intractable nature of radical moral disagreement, in turn challenges the viability of a purely cognitivist account of moral (...)
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  7. added 2019-06-06
    The Ethics of the Neighbor: Universalism, Particularism, Exceptionalism.Kenneth Reinhard - 2005 - Journal of Textual Reasoning 4 (1).
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    What Do Reasons Do?Jonathan Dancy - unknown
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    A Particular Consequentialism: Why Moral Particularism and Consequentialism Need Not Conflict: Jonas Olson and Frans Svensson.Jonas Olson - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (2):194-205.
    Moral particularism is commonly presented as an alternative to ‘principle- or rule-based’ approaches to ethics, such as consequentialism or Kantianism. This paper argues that particularists' aversions to consequentialism stem not from a structural feature of consequentialism per se, but from substantial and structural axiological views traditionally associated with consequentialism. Given a particular approach to value, there need be no conflict between moral particularism and consequentialism. We consider and reject a number of challenges holding that there is after all such a (...)
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    Does Particularism Solve the Moral Problem?1.Kasper Lippert–Rasmussen - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):125-140.
    Moral cognitivism, internalism about moral judgements, and Humeanism about motivating reasons all possess attractions.Yet they cannot all be true.This is the so–called moral problem. Dancy offers an interesting particularist response to the moral problem. However, we argue that this response, first, provides an inadequate basis for the distinction between motivating states and states necessary for motivation although not themselves motivators; second, draws no support from considerations about weakness of the will; and third, involves an implausible account of desire.We conclude that (...)
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    Moral Principles and Agreement.Faviola Rivera - 2000 - Critica 32 (94):43-88.
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  12. added 2019-03-25
    Review of Moral Particularism (Ed. Brad Hooker and Margaret Little). [REVIEW]Pekka Väyrynen - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (3):478.
    This is a short review of Moral Particularism, ed. Brad Hooker and Margaret Little (Oxford University Press, 2002).
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  13. added 2019-02-12
    Universalizability and the Metaphysics of Moral Particularism, Specified.Edward Moad - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (3):309-324.
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  14. added 2019-01-21
    Exceptions in Nonderivative Value.Garrett Cullity - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):26-49.
    According to most substantive axiological theories – theories telling us which things are good and bad – pleasure is nonderivatively good. This seems to imply that it is always good, even when directed towards a bad object, such as another person’s suffering. This implication is accepted by the Mainstream View about misdirected pleasures: it holds that when someone takes pleasure in another person’s suffering, his being pleased is good, although his being pleased by suffering is bad. This view gains some (...)
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  15. added 2018-10-31
    Are There Indefeasible Epistemic Rules?Darren Bradley - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...)
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  16. added 2018-06-15
    Not All Partial Grounds Partly Ground: Some Useful Distinctions in the Theory of Grounding.Shlomit Wygoda Cohen - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):75-92.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  17. added 2018-03-17
    Uklonljivost, norme in izjeme: model normalnosti.Vojko Strahovnik - 2016 - Revus 29:77-92.
    Članek se ukvarja s pojmom uklonljivosti, s posebnim ozirom na uklonljivost moralnih in pravnih norm. Na začetku začrtamo grob oris pojava uklonljivosti, ki je zahteven izziv tako za moralno kot tudi za pravno teorijo. Opozorimo na pogoje in primerjalne prednosti, ki naj bi jih izpolnjeval oz. imel model uklonljivosti. Nadalje se v članku osredotočimo na svojstven model uklonljivosti, ki uporablja pojem normalnih pogojev da bi zajel omenjeni pojem uklonljivosti norm. Trdimo, da temu modelu pri tem spodleti, posebej z vidika predpostavke (...)
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  18. added 2018-03-17
    Robert Audi, The Good in the Right: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value.Vojko Strahovnik - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15:583-589.
    A review article: In his recent book The Good in the Right Robert Audi presents one of the most complete contemporary arguments for moral intuitionism. By clearing-out of unnecessary and out-of-date posits and commitments of traditional intuitionist accounts he manages to establish a moderate (and in a sense also minimal) version of intuitionism that can be further developed metaethically (e.g. Kantian intuitionism, value-based intuitionism) as well as normatively (e.g. by varying the list of prima facie duties). Central posits of his (...)
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  19. added 2018-02-18
    Particularism in Science.David L. Hull - 1990 - Criticism 32 (3):343-359.
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  20. added 2017-08-31
    The Problem of Relevant Descriptions and the Scope of Moral Principles.Irina Schumski - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1588-1613.
    In her seminal attack on modern moral philosophy, G. E. M. Anscombe claims that Kant's ‘rule about universalizable maxims is useless without stipulations as to what shall count as a relevant description of an action with a view to constructing a maxim about it’. Although this so-called problem of relevant descriptions has received considerable attention in the literature, there is little agreement on how it should be understood or solved. My aim in this paper is, first, to clarify the problem (...)
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  21. added 2017-08-10
    How Insensitive: Principles, Facts and Normative Grounds in Cohen’s Critique of Rawls.Daniel Kofman - 2012 - Socialist Studies 8 (1):246-268.
    Cohen’s hostility to Rawls’ justification of the Difference Principle by social facts spawned Cohen’s general thesis that ultimate principles of justice and morality are fact-insensitive, but explain how any fact-sensitive principle is grounded in facts. The problem with this thesis, however, is that when facts F ground principle P, reformulating this relation as the "fact-insensitive" conditional “If F, then P” is trivial and thus explanatorily impotent. Explanatory, hence justificatory, force derives either from subsumption under more general principles, or precisely exhibiting (...)
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  22. added 2017-08-05
    Thick Concepts and Holism About Reasons.Andrew Sneddon - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4):461-468.
    Thick moral concepts are a topic of particular disagreement in discussions of reasons holism. These concepts, such as justice, are called “thick” because they have both evaluative and descriptive aspects. Thin moral concepts, such as good, are purely evaluative. The disagreement concerns whether the fact that an action is, for example, just always a reason in favor of performing that action. The present argument follows Jonathan Dancy’s strategy of connecting moral reasons and concepts to those in other domains. If Dancy (...)
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  23. added 2017-02-07
    Moral Relevance and Ceteris Paribus Principles.Robert L. Frazier - 1995 - Ratio 8 (2):113-125.
    My goal in this paper is twofold: to provide an account of what makes properties morally relevant, and to indicate the role such properties have in our moral thinking.
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  24. added 2017-01-28
    DANCY, J.: "Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology". [REVIEW]L. J. O'neill - 1987 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65:115.
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  25. added 2017-01-27
    Moral Knowledge and Intuitions: Introduction to a Special Issue of the Journal of Value Inquiry.Sabine Roeser & Joel Rickard - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (2):173-176.
    After decades of being met with suspicion or even disdain the epistemic role of intuitions – and specifically the school of ethical intuitionism – has seen a revival. This revival has been undertaken by both leading moral philosophers such as Jonathan Dancy and Robert Audi and moral psychologists like Jonathan Haidt and Joshua Greene.See Jonathan Dancy, Ethics Without Principles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Robert Audi, The Good in the Right. A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value (Princeton: Princeton University (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-27
    Margolis, J.-Life Without Principles.P. Schaber - 1997 - Philosophical Books 38:208-209.
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  27. added 2017-01-23
    Book Review. The Moral Problem. Michael Smith. [REVIEW]Nicholas L. Sturgeon - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (1):94-97.
    Michael Smith’s moral problem is not about whether to betray one’s friends or one’s country. It is a metaethical problem about how to combine three tempting theses that look mutually inconsistent: moral cognitivism, appraiser internalism about moral judgments and motivation, and a “Humean” account of motivation. In Smith’s formulation, these become: 1. Moral judgements of the form, ‘It is right that I φ’ express a subject’s belief about an objective matter of fact, a fact about what it is right for (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-23
    Review of Jonathan Dancy's (Ed.) Reading Parfit. [REVIEW]Trenton Merricks - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (3):422-425.
    Like many others interested in Derek Parfit’s work, I’ve been awaiting this collection of original essays on Reasons and Persons, having placed an order with my bookstore at least a year before the book was finally published. The delay was due to the editor’s original plan of including Parfit’s responses, a plan that had to be abandoned. Eventually, Jonathan Dancy tells us, Parfit will publish responses to these pieces. And at least one response has already appeared in print, Parfit’s discussion (...)
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  29. added 2017-01-21
    Proximity and Particularism.Arnold Burms - 1996 - Ethical Perspectives 3 (3):157-160.
    Some moral philosophers view conventional morality as an instrument that has a certain function to fulfill, and that we can in principle correct or adjust on the basis of an understanding of that function. This instrumentalist approach to morality is an extension of a familiar pattern of thought constituted by the combination of two different elements. We tend, on the one hand, to believe that we have a clear understanding of what it is that we allow ourselves to be guided (...)
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  30. added 2017-01-21
    Book Review:Moral Reasons. Jonathan Dancy. [REVIEW]Donald C. Hubin - 1995 - Ethics 106 (1):187-.
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  31. added 2017-01-19
    Justifying and Applying Moral Principles.Jeffery Smith - 2006 - Journal of Value Inquiry 40 (4):393-411.
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  32. added 2017-01-19
    Oldenquist on Moral Judgments and Moral Principles.Douglas Greenlee - 1969 - Journal of Value Inquiry 3 (1):49-51.
    It is to misunderstand the nature of moral reasoning to suppose, As does andrew oldenquist in his "universalizability and nondescriptivism" (the journal of philosophy. Xlv, 3, Feb. 8, 1968, Pp. 57-79), That a distinction obtains between moral judgements and moral principles to the effect that a moral judgement requires supportability by reasons as a necessary condition, Whereas a moral principle is exempt from this condition. Four arguments are given against the view that there can be a sort of moral statement, (...)
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  33. added 2017-01-18
    Ethical Pluralism: A Reply to Dancy.Robert Gay - 1985 - Mind 94 (374):250-262.
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  34. added 2017-01-18
    A Note on Ethics and Solipsism.Michael Clark - 1964 - Mind 73 (289):127-128.
  35. added 2017-01-17
    Why Moral Principles?Joe Mintoff - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1133-1159.
    Jonathan Dancy challenges moral generalists to come up with a picture of moral thought and judgment which requires a provision of principles that cover the ground. The aim of this paper is to provide a response to Dancy's challenge. I argue that reasonable moral thought requires us to explain ourselves when we have reason to doubt our moral judgment about some particular case, that any such explanation commits us to a general moral principle over some domain of discussion and that (...)
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  36. added 2017-01-17
    Review: Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge, Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006. [REVIEW]Jonathan Dancy - unknown
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  37. added 2017-01-17
    Moral Particularism and the Real World.Bradford Hooker - unknown
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  38. added 2017-01-17
    The Particularist's Progress.Jonathan Dancy - unknown
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  39. added 2017-01-17
    Review: Sean McKeever, Michael Ridge, Principled Ethics: Generalism as a Regulative Ideal. [REVIEW]Jonathan Dancy - unknown
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  40. added 2017-01-17
    What is Particularism in Ethics?Jonathan Dancy - unknown
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  41. added 2017-01-17
    Review of 'Ethical Particularism: An Essay on Moral Reasons' by U. Kihlbom. [REVIEW]Jonathan Dancy - unknown
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  42. added 2017-01-17
    Moral Philosophy. Its General Principles.O. P. A. M. Crofts - 1960
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  43. added 2017-01-16
    Defeaters and Practical Knowledge.Carla Bagnoli - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2855-2875.
    This paper situates the problem of defeaters in a larger debate about the source of normative authority. It argues in favour of a constructivist account of defeasibility, which appeals to the justificatory role of normative principles. The argument builds upon the critique of two recent attempts to deal with defeasibility: first, a particularist account, which disposes of moral principles on the ground that reasons are holistic; and second, a proceduralist view, which addresses the problem of defeaters by distinguishing between provisional (...)
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  44. added 2017-01-16
    On Moral Sentimentalism.N. Roughley & T. Schramme (eds.) - 2015 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
  45. added 2017-01-16
    Necessary Moral Principles.Richard Swinburne - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4):617--634.
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  46. added 2017-01-16
    On Empathy as the Cement of the Moral Universe.Thomas Schramme - 2015 - In Neil Roughley & Thomas Schramme (eds.), On Moral Sentimentalism. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 42-49.
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  47. added 2017-01-16
    II—Jonathan Dancy: Moral Perception.Jonathan Dancy - 2010 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 84 (1):99-117.
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  48. added 2017-01-16
    I—Garrett Cullity: Particularism and Presumptive Reasons.Garrett Cullity - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1):169-190.
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  49. added 2017-01-16
    II–Jonathan Dancy.Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 74 (1):319-338.
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  50. added 2017-01-16
    Ethical Universalism and Particularism.Alan Gewirth - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (6):283.
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1 — 50 / 313