It is known as particularism to trend that manifests itself at privilege the private interest over the general interest. It is also mentioned as particularism to the preference to act according to one’s own free will.

A philosophical doctrine

In the field of philosophy, particularism is a doctrine that holds that abstract and universal claim theories are fallible since everything depends on the specific questions of each particular case.


It all depends on the specific questions of each particular case

Particularism, in this sense, leads us to reflect on the guidelines linked to practical reasoning. In many areas, argue those who defend this position, a judgment holistic in order to make a comparison between the contextual and historical reasons that exist against and in favor of a postulate.

In historiography

For the historiography, particularism supposes defend a particular condition against an absolutist and unifying tendency. This is usually linked to the study of the monarchies of the Old Regime. More broadly, we can say that it is used in the context of Western European history to shape a particular status, local or religious, among others, opposing it to the unification, absolutism and centralization typical of the authoritarian monarchy.

Speaking of France, for example, traditional historiography indicates that its history emerged as a nation building, that is, its identity was forged thanks to state power, and it was finalized only in the context of the Revolution. For this reason, anything that was apparently opposed to this process used to be understood as retrograde. All class or local particularism was defined in this way, especially in the framework of the Revolution.

Going to Spanish history, the particularism can be seen from the Middle Ages. In this way they have understood events as the following: in the 6th century, when Hermenegildo he rebelled against his father, the monarch Leovigildo; in the ninth century, the independence of the Pyrenean lands of the Carolingian Empire; in the 9th and 10th centuries, when the Muladíes and the Berbers rose up against the Emirate of Córdoba; between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, the emergence of the kingdoms of taifa; in 1520, the war of the Communities of Castile.

Historical particularism

Franz boas (1858-1942), for his part, resorted to the notion of historical particularism in the field of anthropology. Boas stated that a society is always a collective representation of a story that is particular and unique. In this way he opposed the evolutionism, which attributed the same development path to all societies.

With historical particularism, Boas showed that different peoples can achieve a similar level of development by following different routes. That is, having a last that is proper to each one.

French Revolution particularism

The identity of France was finished forging with the Revolution

Moral particularism

The moral particularism, while, minimizes or rejects the ethical principles of a community because it considers that the specific circumstances of each particular case. The moral generalismInstead, it states that the moral response transcends the particular case and has to be framed within a series of socially shared principles.

From the traditional point of view of moral particularism, it is believed that moral thought does not have a structure well defined. The most extremists completely reject the moral principles in this theory, as they consider them unnecessary. The use of these principles is often believed to be counterproductive, as moral particularists trust that in each case those that are considered appropriate are used. The British philosopher Jonathan Dancy points out that in each case, regardless of whether it is an imaginary one or a real one, certain moral ideas emerge.