Holism, Weight, and Undercutting

Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344 (2011)
Abstract
Particularists in ethics emphasize that the normative is holistic, and invite us to infer with them that it therefore defies generalization. This has been supposed to present an obstacle to traditional moral theorizing, to have striking implications for moral epistemology and moral deliberation, and to rule out reductive theories of the normative, making it a bold and important thesis across the areas of normative theory, moral epistemology, moral psychology, and normative metaphysics. Though particularists emphasize the importance of the holism of the normative, however, it is not something that they have been able to explain. In this paper I’ll show how to use a small number of simple and, I’ll argue, independently compelling assumptions in order to both predict and explain the holistic features of the normative with respect to the non-normative. The basic idea of the paper is simple. It is that normative claims are holistic because they are general, rather than because they defy generalization.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00767.x
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References found in this work BETA
Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Harvard University Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 1993 - Blackwell.

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Citations of this work BETA
Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
Higher-Order Defeat is Object-Independent.Joshua DiPaolo - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
Silencing Desires?Attila Tanyi - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.
Defeasibility and Inferential Particularism.González de Prado Salas Javier - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (1):1-19.
Normativity and Self-Relations.Yair Levy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):359-374.

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