Moral Hybrids, Moral Relevance and Moral Particularism

Mark Vorobej


Some of Jonathan Dancy's strongest arguments in support of moral particularism depend crucially upon the distinction he draws between three different kinds of relevance relations -- favourers, intensifiers and enablers. In this paper I generalize certain features of Dancy's account of the different roles that premises can play in moral argumentation. Most significantly, I argue that both intensifiers and enablers play parallel roles within different kinds of (more primitive) supplementation relations. This matters since it is common for people to accept Dancy's account of intensifiers while remaining suspicious of his notion of enablers. But this asymmetrical response, I argue, cannot be justified. This account also generates a simpler and more elegant argument in support of moral particularism.


Jonathan Dancy; moral particularism;reasons; relevance;intensifiers;enablers;hybrid arguments

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ISSN: 0824-2577