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Is justice holistic and particular?: a study of particularism.

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This thesis explores the relative strengths of particularism and generalism in the area of meta-ethics in philosophy, utilising justice as a case study. More specifically, this thesis examines the claims of Jonathan Dancy in his book on moral particularism, Ethics Without Principles (2004), that one can construct a moral philosophy without reference to any general principles, or invariant reasons. His book is primarily a study of reasons, and this thesis also presents a study of reasons through the eyes f both the particularists and the generalists. At its core, the particularism holds holism to be true in the theory of reasons, whereas generalism, at its core, holds atomism to be true in the theory of reasons. In my thesis I find that the strongest form of atomism and the strongest form of generalism is Rossean generalism. I conclude that these two pictures combined provide a superior account of what reasons are and how they work than Dancy's particularism.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2005.


Theses--Ethics., Ethics., Principle (Philosophy), Justice (Philosophy)