University of Sussex
Santos de Almeida, André Lúcio.pdf (1.64 MB)

Agent particularism: the ethics of human dignity

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posted on 2023-06-09, 15:57 authored by André Lúcio Santos de Almeida
The thesis proposes an ethics centred on the notion of human dignity. In Chapter One I introduce the position the thesis proposes, Agent Particularism, according to which who you are is relevant to determining what you ought to do. I reject the thesis of the universalizability of moral judgements that says that if you judge that X is the right thing for you to do, you are necessarily committed to the view that X is the right thing for everybody to do in relevantly similar circumstances. In Chapter Two I present an Agent-Particularist conception of freedom. I offer an Agent-Particularist conception of the self. I make a distinction between negative freedom, which is being free from external interference, and positive freedom, which is developing into the ideal version of yourself (in accord with your particular nature). In Chapter Three I present Agent Particularism as a kind of virtue ethics. I offer a solution to an epistemological problem that the thesis faces: once I have rejected the existence of exceptionless moral principles, how can there be moral knowledge and what kind of knowledge that would be? I argue that the problem can be solved by understanding moral knowledge as consisting on the deliverances of a perceptual capacity. I position Agent Particularism in relation to traditional virtue ethics. In Chapter Four I present the Agent-Particularist conception of human dignity. I show that the Agent-Particularist position developed in the first three chapters issues in a peculiar conception of human dignity. I present the basic elements of an Agent-Particularist conception of dignity. I present Kant’s conception of dignity and contrast it with the Agent-Particularist conception.


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