Ethics Without Principles

Paperback | July 11, 2006

byJonathan Dancy

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Jonathan Dancy presents a long-awaited exposition and defence of particularism in ethics, a view with which he has been associated for twenty years. He argues that the traditional link between morality and principles, or between being moral and having principles, is little more than a mistake.The possibility of moral thought and judgement does not in any way depend on an adequate supply of principles. Dancy grounds this claim on a form of reasons-holism, holding that what is a reason in one case need not be any reason in another, and maintaining that moral reasons are no different inthis respect from others. He puts forward a distinctive form of value-holism to go with the holism of reasons, and he gives a detailed discussion, much needed, of the currently popular topic of 'contributory' reasons. Opposing positions of all sorts are summarized and criticized. Ethics Without Principles is the definitive statement of particularist ethical theory, and will be required reading for all those working on moral philosophy and ethical theory.

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Jonathan Dancy presents a long-awaited exposition and defence of particularism in ethics, a view with which he has been associated for twenty years. He argues that the traditional link between morality and principles, or between being moral and having principles, is little more than a mistake.The possibility of moral thought and judgem...

Jonathan Dancy is at University of Reading and University of Texas at Austin.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:July 11, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297681

ISBN - 13:9780199297689

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Table of Contents

1. What are the options?I. Catching the contributory2. Contributory reasons3. Beyond favouring4. Dropping the catchII. From holism to particularism5. Holism and its consequences6. Can holism be true?7. Competing pictures8. Knowing reasonsIII. Holism in the theory of value9. Intrinsic and extrinsic value10. Are there organic unities?11. Rationality, value, and meaning12. Principles of rational valuing

Editorial Reviews

`The book is high-octane philosophy. The structure is clear, the writing elegant, the argument peppered with outlooks into other areas of philosophy. A formidable experience.'Christopher Fehige, Times Literary Supplement