Effort and Achievement

Utilitas 29 (1):27-51 (2017)
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Achievements have recently begun to attract increased attention from value theorists. One recurring idea in this budding literature is that one important factor determining the magnitude or value of an achievement is the amount of effort the achiever invested. The aim of this paper is to present the most plausible version of this idea. This advances the current state of debate where authors are invoking substantially different notions of effort and are thus talking past each other. While the concept of effort has been invoked in the philosophical analysis of a number of important concepts such as desert, attention, competence, and distributive justice, it has hardly ever been analyzed itself. This paper makes headway in this regard by discussing three ambiguities in the everyday notion of effort. It continues to develop two accounts of effort and shows how both of them are achievement-enhancing.
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First archival date: 2017-03-27
Latest version: 2 (2019-06-26)
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