This article queries Winch's view that moral
issues are particular, subjective, context-dependent and not open to
generalizations. Drawing on examples from film and literature, Winch
believes he can prove first, that the universalisability principle is idle
and second, that morality is wrongly conceived as a guide to moral conduct.
Yet, neither example proves his point. Quite the contrary, they show that
we face moral dilemmas only when moral theory fails to provide an answer to
moral problems. Therfore, it is not the case, as Winch suggests, that moral
issues have a force independent of moral theory.
The article questions a general trend in contemporary moral theory that
argues that abstract principles are inconsistent with the actual way we
live our lives.