Jonathan Peter Dancy is a British philosopher, working on epistemology and on ethics. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Reading and Professor of Philosophy at University of Texas at Austin.
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jonathan Dancy
After being mentioned by his daughter-in-law, American actress Claire Danes, during an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Dancy appeared as a guest on the program on 1 April 2010.
More DetailsHide DetailsDancy was educated at Winchester College, where he was Head Boy and played cricket for the school, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he obtained a double first in classics (1965-7:Classical Honour Moderations: First Class Honours; 1967-9: Literae Humaniores: First Class Honours, BA). He and his wife Sarah have three children, the actor Hugh Dancy, husband of actress Claire Danes, Jack Dancy who runs a travel company, Trufflepig Travel and Kate Redman who works for Save the Children
In 1971 he became a lecturer at Keele University.
More DetailsHide DetailsAfter having worked on problems of epistemology, and more particularly on the nature of perception (argument from illusion), he emerged as the leading proponent in ethics of moral particularism, the idea that all moral reasons are particular and context-sensitive, rather than general. He also defends what he calls the holism of reasons, namely the idea that a consideration that is a reason for acting in a certain way in one case may not be a reason for acting in that way, or even a reason for not acting in that way, in other cases. In this sense, reasons are context-dependent. Dancy argues that the holism of reasons provides a major support for the main claim of his particularism, i.e., that there are no moral principles but that morality can get on perfectly well without them. Dancy edited some of George Berkeley writings and dedicated a book to the Anglo-Irish thinker.
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