Ethics 116 (4):707-741 (2006)

Authors
Pekka Väyrynen
University of Leeds
Abstract
I defend moral generalism against particularism. Particularism, as I understand it, is the negation of the generalist view that particular moral facts depend on the existence of a comprehensive set of true moral principles. Particularists typically present "the holism of reasons" as powerful support for their view. While many generalists accept that holism supports particularism but dispute holism, I argue that generalism accommodates holism. The centerpiece of my strategy is a novel model of moral principles as a kind of "hedged" principles that incorporate an independently plausible "basis thesis" concerning the explanation of moral reasons. The model implies that moral reasons requires the existence of a comprehensive set of true hedged principles, and so it captures generalism. But the model also offers an alternative explanation of holism, and so it undercuts much of the motivation for particularism. I defend this moderate (because holism-tolerating) form of generalism against a number of objections, and show how it can be used to defeat three distinct arguments from holism to particularism.
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DOI 10.1086/505232
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References found in this work BETA

Equality, Priority, and the Levelling-Down Objection.Larry Temkin - 2000 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. Macmillan. pp. 126-61.
Particularizing Particularism.Roger Crisp - 2000 - In Brad Hooker & Margaret Olivia Little (eds.), Moral Particularism. Oxford University Press. pp. 23--47.
Unprincipled Ethics.David McNaughton & Piers Rawling - 1988 - In Brad Hooker & Margaret Olivia Little (eds.), Moral Particularism. Clarendon Press.
Consequentialism.[author unknown] - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (4):769-769.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2013 - Dissertation, Princeton University
Grounding and Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):155-178.

View all 31 citations / Add more citations

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