Gilbert Harmon: Moral Particularism and Transduction

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Gilbert Harmon considered two theories on the grounding of moral decisions, moral particularism and moral generalism.  Moral generalism holds that moral truths originate from general moral principles, or that reasonable or justified moral decisions are grounded in general moral principles.  … Read More

Douglas Portmore: Consequentializing Moral Theories

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Douglas Portmore presented an intricate argument designed to preserve the “deeply compelling” theory of act-utilitarianism from its counter-intuitive implications.  In my view his argument falls short; in trying to avoid the counter-intuitive arguments against act-utilitarianism, he wrongly abandoned the central … Read More

Lawrence Becker: Impartiality and Ethical Theory

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Lawrence Becker briefly considered three distinct problem areas in a modern moral philosophy that argues for an impersonal perspective detached from “self-interest, privileged personal relationships, the demands of the moment, and a … first person point of view” (698.) The … Read More

Howard McGary on Friedman and Impartiality

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In “Friedman on Impartiality and Practicality,” Howard McGary responded to a few of Friedman’s points on the impracticality of impartiality.  He responded briefly in three points. In his first point, McGary challenges one of Friedman’s reading of an impartialist position, … Read More

Marilyn Friedman on Impartiality (part 2)

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In “Practice of Partiality,” Friedman wrote in three sections; this is a comment on the second, entitled “Partiality and Inadequate Resources.” In this section Friedman engages the impact of partial relationships in social environments of high resource inequality.  Social norms … Read More

Marilyn Friedman on Impartiality (part 1)

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In “Practice of Partiality,” Friedman wrote in three sections; this is a comment on the first. In the first section, Friedman pointed out that partial relationships vary in their moral worth: “The quality of a particular relationship is profoundly important … Read More

Reflections on Kohlberg and Gilligan

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My response to the Kohlberg / Gilligan debate has different aspects, and a few preceding posts reflect different phases of reflection.  The core issue I was trying to draw out is that universal principles about partial relationships, such as friends … Read More

Lawrence Blum on Gilligan and Kohlberg (part 3)

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In a 1988 paper, Lawrence Blum contrasted the moral theories of Carol Gilligan and Lawrence Kohlberg, arguing in support of Gilligan. Kohlberg represents the dominant view, which casts morality as based on “impartiality, impersonality, justice, formal rationality, and universal principal” … Read More

Lawrence Blum on Gilligan and Kohlberg (part 2)

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In a 1988 paper “Gilligan and Kohlberg: Implications for Moral Theory,” Lawrence Blum contrasted the moral theories of Carol Gilligan and Lawrence Kohlberg, arguing in support of Gilligan. Kohlberg represents the dominant view, which casts morality as based on “impartiality, … Read More

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