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Abstract

There is an obvious affinity between virtue ethics and particularism. Both stress the complexity of the moral life, the inadequacy of rule-following as a guide to moral deliberation, and the importance of judgement in discerning the morally relevant features of particular situations. Yet it remains an open question how deep the affinity goes. I argue that the radical form of particularism defended by Jonathan Dancy has surprisingly strong implications for virtue ethics. Adopting such a view would require the virtue theorist either to adopt an unattractive model of moral motivation or to embrace a fairly strong version of the unity of the virtues.