Supererogation and the Limits of Moral Obligations. Guest Editor’s Preface

Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics 19 (1):221-224 (2017)
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Abstract

Do moral obligations include all the good that can be possibly achieved? Does every instance of the good always entail obligatory performance? Supererogation is a moral concept that tries to address this claim, by pointing out the existence of a category of morally relevant good acts that go beyond the call of duty. Paradigmatic examples of this category of acts are represented by deeds of heroism and sanctity, where the agent is sacrificing herself in order to benefit the others in an exemplary way. However, supererogation is not limited to extreme and utmost cases of generosity, but it has much to do with our everyday life. From a moral point of view, making a small donation to the local children‘s hospital is considered to be morally good, but optional.

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Simone Grigoletto
University of Padua

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