A Defense of a Particularist Research Program

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Abstract

What makes some acts morally right and others morally wrong? Traditionally, philosophers have thought that in order to answer this question we must find and formulate exceptionless moral principles-principles that capture all and only morally right actions. Utilitarianism and Kantianism are paradigmatic examples of such attempts. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in a novel approach-Particularism-although its precise content is still a matter of controversy. In this paper I develop and motivate a new formulation of particularism as a research program and I show that my formulation is not vulnerable to the most common objections to particularism. Moreover, I argue that the particularist research program shows enough promise to warrant further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-199
Number of pages19
JournalEthical Theory and Moral Practice
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Generalism
  • Particularism

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