Default Reasons

Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge

in Principled Ethics

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199290659
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603617 | DOI:
 Default Reasons

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Because of its extremely ecumenical view of what considerations might count as reasons, particularism threatens to ‘flatten the moral landscape’ by making it seem that there is no deep difference between, for example pain and shoelace color. After all, particularists have claimed, either could provide a reason provided a suitable moral context. To avoid this result, particularists can try to draw a distinction between default and non-default reasons. This chapter argues that all but the most deflationary ways of drawing this distinction are either implausible or else insufficient to help the particularist avoid flattening the moral landscape. The difficulty can be avoided if the particularist’s extremely ecumenical view of reasons is rejected.

Keywords: particularism; Jonathan Dancy; reasons; primary reason; secondary reason; default reason; defeasible generalizations; Margaret Little; Mark Lance

Chapter.  14732 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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