Particularism and Antitheory

Mark Lance and Margaret Little

Edited by David Copp

in The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195147797
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785841 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Particularism and Antitheory

Show Summary Details


This chapter sets out to distinguish the sorts of claims have been advanced under the rubric of “moral particularism,” and to sort through the insights and costs of each. In particular, it distinguishes those who are animated by suspicion of theory itself from those who aim to reconfigure — sometimes radically — the nature of theory. It defends as key the particularist insight that exceptions to substantive moral explanations are ubiquitous. It argues that the lesson of this insight is not to abandon moral generalizations, but to change the picture of what they must look like to do their work.

Keywords: particularism; generalism; contextualism; moral theory; principlism; defeasibility

Chapter.  13218 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.