Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):83 - 106 (2005)

Authors
Michael Ridge
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
What place, if any, moral principles should or do have in moral life has been a longstanding question for moral philosophy. For some, the proposition that moral philosophy should strive to articulate moral principles has been an article of faith. At least since Aristotle, however, there has been a rich counter-tradition that questions the possibility or value of trying to capture morality in principled terms. In recent years, philosophers who question principled approaches to morality have argued under the banner of moral particularism. Particularists can be found in diverse areas of philosophical inquiry, and their positions and arguments are of broad interest.1 Despite its importance, a proper evaluation of particularism has been hindered both by the diversity of arguments employed to defend it, and, perhaps more significantly, by the diversity of positions that can fairly claim to be particularist. Our aim is first to explicate particularism by identifying a unified range of particularist theses and explaining both what unites them as versions of particularism as well as what distinguishes them from each other. We then articulate and evaluate the main arguments for particularism and explain how each is especially well-suited to supporting some conceptions of particularism rather than others. We tentatively conclude that the positive arguments for particularism are not convincing. They do, however, reveal particularism to be a surprisingly resilient position, one that is not readily refuted..
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.2005.10716582
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,848
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Principia Ethica.Evander Bradley McGilvary - 1904 - Philosophical Review 13 (3):351.
The Right and the Good.Some Problems in Ethics.W. D. Ross & H. W. B. Joseph - 1933 - Journal of Philosophy 30 (19):517-527.
Moral Particularism.Brad Hooker & Margaret Olivia Little (eds.) - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Defense of a Particularist Research Program.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2):181-199.
Particularism, Analogy, and Moral Cognition.Marcello Guarini - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (3):385-422.
Ethical Theories and Moral Guidance.Pekka Väyrynen - 2006 - Utilitas 18 (3):291-309.
Ross and the Particularism/Generalism Divide.Kristian Olsen - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):56-75.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-09-22

Total views
109 ( #94,738 of 2,432,783 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #464,144 of 2,432,783 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes