Moral advice and moral theory

Philosophical Studies 146 (3):349 - 359 (2009)
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Abstract

Monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about the structure of the best explanation of the rightness (wrongness) of actions. In this paper I argue that the availability of good moral advice gives us reason to prefer particularist theories and pluralist theories to monist theories. First, I identify two distinct roles of moral theorizing—explaining the rightness (wrongness) of actions, and providing moral advice—and I explain how these two roles are related. Next, I explain what monists, pluralists, and particularists disagree about. Finally, I argue that particularists and pluralists are better situated than monists to explain why it is a good idea to think before we act, and that this gives us reason to favor particularism and pluralism over monism.

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Uri D. Leibowitz
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Citations of this work

Particularism in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):121-147.
A Defense of a Particularist Research Program.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2):181-199.
Do Moral Questions Ask for Answers?Benjamin De Mesel - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (1):43-61.
Moral modesty, moral judgment and moral advice. A Wittgensteinian approach.Benjamin De Mesel - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 75 (1):20-37.

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References found in this work

Ethics without principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Right and the Good. Some Problems in Ethics.W. D. Ross - 1930 - Oxford: Clarendon Press. Edited by Philip Stratton-Lake.
Moral reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 1993 - Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.
Alienation, consequentialism, and the demands of morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
The Right and the Good.W. D. Ross - 1930 - Philosophy 6 (22):236-240.

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