Moral Advice and Moral Theory

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume146
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Generalism
  • Monism
  • Moral guidance
  • Particularism
  • Pluralism

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