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Principled EthicsGeneralism as a Regulative Ideal$
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Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199290652.001.0001

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Beyond Default Principles: Trimming the Hedges

Beyond Default Principles: Trimming the Hedges

(p.138) 7 Beyond Default Principles: Trimming the Hedges
Principled Ethics

Sean McKeever (Contributor Webpage)

Michael Ridge (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues against the hedged principles laid out in Chapter 6. It contends that the best explanation of the possibility of practical wisdom entails that morality can be codified. It gives three main arguments. The first argument contends that generalism as a regulative ideal better preserves a broad scope for practical wisdom than its particularist rivals. In pressing this argument, it is shown how generalism is better situated to accommodate an important role for certain kinds of fiction and narrative in moral thinking. The second argument contends that generalism as a regulative ideal is better situated to distinguish the a priori from the a posteriori elements of moral knowledge than its particularist rivals. The third argument simply appeals to pre-theoretical intuitions about the codifiability of morality.

Keywords:   practical wisdom, practical reason, fiction, narrative, knowledge, a priori, a posteriori, intuitive, intuition, hedged principle

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