Habits and Mental Perspectives: Educating Moral Particularism nate jackson Capital University Moral particularism, broadly understood, is the position that morality resists codification into a set of rules or principles.1 Jonathan Dancy, particularismâs main contemporary proponent, maintains that there are few, if any, true moral principles, and moral reasoning and judgment do not require them. Instead, acts are justified by the salient features of particular situations, and moral reasoning requires attunement to these elements. In rejecting a rulebound approach to morality, particularists deny pictures of moral education emphasizing knowledge and application of principles. While Dancy offers a competing view of competence, his explanation of the possibility of moral education is inadequate, leaving a lacuna in the case for particularism. In response, particularism must account for the possibility of developing sensitivity to a situationâs salient features without the aid of universal principles. John Dewey offers a view of judgment familiar to contemporary particularism and confronts a similar educational challenge. Drawing on Deweyâs analyses of habit and tradition, I argue that particularists can offer an account of education consistent with their rejection of rules. Habits structure experiences on Deweyâs account, affording an explanation of salience in moral perception. Further, Dewey describes
The Pluralist – University of Illinois Press
Published: Jul 20, 2017
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