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moral particularism


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The view owing its ancestry to Aristotle, and defended by the contemporary British philosopher Jonathan Dancy, that in deciding the rights and wrongs of action general principles are of little value: the devil lies in the details. It thus stands opposed to ethics relying on highly general and abstract principles, particularly those associated with the Kantian categorical imperative. The view may go so far as to say that taken on its own, no consideration points in any particular way, but taken to this extreme the view seems to threaten any kind of reasoning about what to do, since that can only proceed by identifying salient features of a situation that weigh on one side or another.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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