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Scientific explanation and moral explanation

Leibowitz, Uri D.

Authors

Uri D. Leibowitz uri.leibowitz@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral generalists. In this paper I argue that we have good reasons to give up this commitment. In fact, I show that an examination of the literature on scientific explanation reveals that we are used to, and comfortable with, non-deductive explanations in almost all areas of inquiry. As a result, I argue that we have reason to believe that moral explanations need not be grounded in exceptionless moral principles.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Journal Noûs
Print ISSN 0029-4624
Electronic ISSN 0029-4624
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Leibowitz, U. D. (2011). Scientific explanation and moral explanation. Noûs, 45(3), doi:10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00775.x
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00775.x
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00775.x/abstract
Related Public URLs http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468-0068
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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