The Suberogation Problem for Lei Zhong's Confucian Virtue Theory of Supererogation

Philosophy East and West 69 (3):779-784 (2019)
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A virtue-based theory of right action aims to explain deontic moral principles in terms of virtue and vice. For example, it may maintain the following account of moral obligation: It is morally obligatory for an agent A to ϕ in circumstances C if and only if a fully virtuous and relevantly informed person V would characteristically ϕ in C. However, this account faces the so-called supererogation problem. A supererogatory action is an action that is morally praiseworthy but not morally obligatory. Suppose John risks his own life to save a stranger, which is supererogatory rather than obligatory. However, a fully virtuous...

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Tsung-Hsing Ho (何宗興)
National Chung Cheng University


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