Ethics 118 (1):109-139 (2007)

Authors
Selim Berker
Harvard University
Abstract
Moral particularists argue that because reasons for action are irreducibly context-dependent, the traditional quest in ethics for true and exceptionless moral principles is hopelessly misguided. In making this claim, particularists assume a general framework according to which reasons are the ground floor normative units undergirding all other normative properties and relations. They then argue that there is no cashing out in finite terms either (i) when a given non-normative feature gives rise to a reason for or against action, or (ii) how the reasons that are present in a given context play off each other to determine one’s overall duties. However, the conjunction of these two theses leaves particularists without a coherent notion of a reason for action: posit too much irreducible context-dependence in the behavior of reasons, and the reasons-based framework breaks down. One upshot is that the particularists’ challenge to principle-based approaches to ethics has not, at present, been successfully made out; another upshot is that perhaps the best way to formulate that challenge involves renouncing the reasons-based framework all together.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/521586
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Freedom and Reason.R. M. Hare - 1963 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Moral Reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 1993 - Blackwell.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
What is a Reason to Act?Kieran Setiya - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):221-235.
Reasons, Reason, and Context.Daniel Fogal - 2016 - In Errol Lord & Barry Maguire (eds.), Weighing Reasons. Oxford University Press.
Moral Particularism.Jonathan Dancy - 2009 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Turning on Default Reasons.Sean McKeever & Michael Ridge - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):55-76.
Particularism and Moral Theory.Garrett Cullity & Richard Holton - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76:169-209.
The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
Morality, Reasons, and Sentiments.Eric Vogelstein - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (3):421-432.
Social Norms in Artefact Use.Marcel Scheele - 2006 - Techne 10 (1):53-65.
Reasons, Values, and Rational Actions.Paul K. Moser - 1990 - Journal of Philosophical Research 15:127-151.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
518 ( #11,344 of 2,385,502 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #27,828 of 2,385,502 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes