Supererogation and Intentions of the Agent

Philosophia 41 (2):447-462 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
It has been claimed, by David Heyd, that in order for an act to count as supererogatory the agent performing the act must possess altruistic intentions (1982 p.115). This requirement, Heyd claims, allows us to make sense of the meritorious nature of acts of supererogation. In this paper I will investigate whether there is good reason to accept that this requirement is a necessary condition of supererogation. I will argue that such a reason can be found in cases where two people act in the same way but with only the person who acted with altruistic intent counting as having performed an act of supererogation. In such cases Heyd’s intention requirement plays an important role in ruling out acts that intuitively are not supererogatory. Despite this, I will argue that we should reject Heyd’s requirement and replace it with a moral intention requirement. I will then investigate how to formulate this requirement and respond to two objections that might be raised against it
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2013-04-12
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
587 ( #10,431 of 64,219 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #40,485 of 64,219 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.