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Alfred Archer
Tilburg University
  1. When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral.Alfred Archer & Benjamin Matheson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):246-265.
    Is it appropriate to honor artists who have created great works but who have also acted immorally? In this article, after arguing that honoring involves identifying a person as someone we ought to admire, we present three moral reasons against honoring immoral artists. First, we argue that honoring can serve to condone their behavior, through the mediums of emotional prioritization and exemplar identification. Second, we argue that honoring immoral artists can generate undue epistemic credibility for the artists, which can lead (...)
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  2. Supererogation, Sacrifice, and the Limits of Duty.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (3):333-354.
    It is often claimed that all acts of supererogation involve sacrifice. This claim is made because it is thought that it is the level of sacrifice involved that prevents these acts from being morally required. In this paper, I will argue against this claim. I will start by making a distinction between two ways of understanding the claim that all acts of supererogation involve sacrifice. I will then examine some purported counterexamples to the view that supererogation always involves sacrifice and (...)
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  3. Are Acts of Supererogation Always Praiseworthy?Alfred Archer - 2016 - Theoria 82 (3):238-255.
    It is commonly assumed that praiseworthiness should form part of the analysis of supererogation. I will argue that this view should be rejected. I will start by arguing that, at least on some views of the connection between moral value and praiseworthiness, it does not follow from the fact that acts of supererogation go beyond what is required by duty that they will always be praiseworthy to perform. I will then consider and dismiss what I will call the Argument from (...)
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  4. Supererogation and Intentions of the Agent.Alfred Archer - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (2):447-462.
    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 (...)
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  5. Saints, Heroes and Moral Necessity.Alfred Archer - 2015 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 77:105-124.
    Many people who perform paradigmatic examples of acts of supererogation claim that they could not have done otherwise. In this paper I will argue that these self-reports from moral exemplars present a challenge to the traditional view of supererogation as involving agential sacrifice. I will argue that the claims made by moral exemplars are plausibly understood as what Bernard Williams calls a ‘practical necessity’. I will then argue that this makes it implausible to view these acts as involving agential sacrifice.
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  6. The Supererogatory and How Not To Accommodate It: A Reply to Dorsey.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):179-188.
    It is plausible to think that there exist acts of supererogation. It also seems plausible that there is a close connection between what we are morally required to do and what it would be morally good to do. Despite being independently plausible these two claims are hard to reconcile. My aim in this article will be to respond to a recent solution to this puzzle proposed by Dale Dorsey. Dorsey's solution to this problem is to posit a new account of (...)
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  7. Moral Obligation, Self-Interest and The Transitivity Problem.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4):441-464.
    Is the relation ‘is a morally permissible alternative to’ transitive? The answer seems to be a straightforward yes. If Act B is a morally permissible alternative to Act A and Act C is a morally permissible alternative to B then how could C fail to be a morally permissible alternative to A? However, as both Dale Dorsey and Frances Kamm point out, there are cases where this transitivity appears problematic. My aim in this paper is to provide a solution to (...)
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  8. Aesthetic Supererogation.Alfred Archer & Lauren Ware - 2017 - Estetika 54 (1):102-116.
    Many aestheticians and ethicists are interested in the similarities and connections between aesthetics and ethics (Nussbaum 1990; Foot 2002; Gaut 2007). One way in which some have suggested the two domains are different is that in ethics there exist obligations while in aesthetics there do not (Hampshire 1954). However, Marcia Muelder Eaton has argued that there is good reason to think that aesthetic obligations do exist (Eaton 2008). We will explore the nature of these obligations by asking whether acts of (...)
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  9. Moral Rationalism Without Overridingness.Alfred Archer - 2014 - Ratio 27 (1):100-114.
    Moral Rationalism is the view that if an act is morally required then it is what there is most reason to do. It is often assumed that the truth of Moral Rationalism is dependent on some version of The Overridingness Thesis, the view that moral reasons override nonmoral reasons. However, as Douglas Portmore has pointed out, the two can come apart; we can accept Moral Rationalism without accepting any version of The Overridingness Thesis. Nevertheless, The Overridingness Thesis serves as one (...)
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  10. Moral Enhancement and Those Left Behind.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (7):500-510.
    Opponents to genetic or biomedical human enhancement often claim that the availability of these technologies would have negative consequences for those who either choose not to utilize these resources or lack access to them. However, Thomas Douglas has argued that this objection has no force against the use of technologies that aim to bring about morally desirable character traits, as the unenhanced would benefit from being surrounded by such people. I will argue that things are not as straightforward as Douglas (...)
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  11. Aesthetic Judgements and Motivation.Alfred Archer - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (6):1-22.
    Are aesthetic judgements cognitive, belief-like states or non-cognitive, desire-like states? There have been a number of attempts in recent years to evaluate the plausibility of a non-cognitivist theory of aesthetic judgements. These attempts borrow heavily from non-cognitivism in metaethics. One argument that is used to support metaethical non-cognitivism is the argument from Motivational Judgement Internalism. It is claimed that accepting this view, together with a plausible theory of motivation, pushes us towards accepting non-cognitivism. A tempting option, then, for those wishing (...)
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  12. The Problem with Moralism.Alfred Archer - 2018 - Ratio:342-350.
    Moralism is often described as a vice. But what exactly is wrong with moralism that makes it aptly described as a character flaw? This paper will argue that the problem with moralism is that it downgrades the force of legitimate moral criticism. First, I will argue that moralism involves an inflated sense of the extent to which moral criticism is appropriate. Next, I will examine the value of legitimate moral criticism, arguing that its value stems from enabling us to take (...)
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  13. Celebrity, Democracy, and Epistemic Power.Alfred Archer, Amanda Cawston, Benjamin Matheson & Machteld Geuskens - forthcoming - Perspectives on Politics.
    What, if anything, is problematic about the involvement of celebrities in democratic politics? While a number of theorists have criticized celebrity involvement in politics (Meyer 2002; Mills 1957; Postman 1987) none so far have examined this issue using the tools of social epistemology, the study of the effects of social interactions, practices and institutions on knowledge and belief acquisition. This paper will draw on these resources to investigate the issue of celebrity involvement in politics, specifically as this involvement relates to (...)
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  14. Motivational Judgement Internalism and The Problem of Supererogation.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:601-621.
    Motivational judgement internalists hold that there is a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. There is, though, an important lack of clarity in the literature about the types of moral evaluation the theory is supposed to cover. It is rarely made clear whether the theory is intended to cover all moral judgements or whether the claim covers only a subset of such judgements. In this paper I will investigate which moral judgements internalists should hold their theory to apply to. (...)
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  15. Evil and Moral Detachment: Further Reflections on The Mirror Thesis.Alfred Archer - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (2):201-218.
    A commonly accepted claim by philosophers investigating the nature of evil is that the evil person is, in some way, the mirror image of the moral saint. In this paper I will defend a new version of this thesis. I will argue that both the moral saint and the morally evil person are characterized by a lack of conflict between moral and non-moral concerns. However, while the saint achieves this unity through a reconciliation of the two, the evil person does (...)
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  16. On Sporting Integrity.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (2):117-131.
    It has become increasingly popular for sports fans, pundits, coaches and players to appeal to ideas of ‘sporting integrity’ when voicing their approval or disapproval of some aspect of the sporting world. My goal in this paper will be to examine whether there is any way to understand this idea in a way that both makes sense of the way in which it is used and presents a distinctly ‘sporting’ form of integrity. I will look at three recent high-profile sporting (...)
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  17. Admiration and Education: What Should We Do with Immoral Intellectuals?Alfred Archer & Benjamin Matheson - 2019 - Ethical Perspectives 26 (1):5-32.
    How should academics respond to the work of immoral intellectuals? This question appears to be one that is of increasing concern in academic circles but has received little attention in the academic literature. In this paper, we will investigate what our response to immoral intellectuals should be. We begin by outlining the cases of three intellectuals who have behaved immorally or at least have been accused of doing so. We then investigate whether it is appropriate to admire an immoral person (...)
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  18. Anger, Affective Injustice, and Emotion Regulation.Alfred Archer & Georgina Mills - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (2):75-94.
    Victims of oppression are often called to let go of their anger in order to facilitate better discussion to bring about the end of their oppression. According to Amia Srinivasan, this constitutes an affective injustice. In this paper, we use research on emotion regulation to shed light on the nature of affective injustice. By drawing on the literature on emotion regulation, we illustrate specifically what kind of work is put upon people who are experiencing affective injustice and why it is (...)
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  19. Book Review: Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt. By Macalester Bell. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. Xi + 292. Price £34.49.). [REVIEW]Alfred Archer - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
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  20. Community, Pluralism and Individualistic Pursuits: A Defence of Why Not Socialism?Alfred Archer - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):57-73.
    Is socialism morally preferable to free market capitalism? G. A. Cohen (2009) has argued that even when the economic inequalities produced by free markets are not the result of injustice, they nevertheless ought to be avoided because they are community undermining. As free markets inevitably lead to economic inequalities and Socialism does not, Socialism is morally preferable. This argument has been the subject of recent criticism. Chad Van Schoelandt (2014) argues that it depends on a conception of community that is (...)
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  21. Review: Lisa Tessman. Moral Failure: On The Impossible Demands of Morality. [REVIEW]Alfred Archer - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):400-402.
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  22. Review: M. V. Ackeren and M. Kühler (Eds.) The Limits of Moral Obligation: Moral Demandingness and Ought Implies Can (New York: Routledge, 2016), 210 Pages. ISBN: 9781138824232 (Hbk). Hardback: £90.00. [REVIEW]Alfred Archer - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
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  23.  59
    Supererogation and Consequentialism.Alfred Archer - forthcoming - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The thought that acts of supererogation exist presents a challenge to all normative ethical theories. This chapter will provide an overview of the consequentialist responses to this challenge. I will begin by explaining the problem that supererogation presents for consequentialism. I will then explore consequentialist attempts to deny the existence of acts of supererogation. Next, I will examine a range of act consequentialist attempts to accommodate supererogation: including satisficing consequentialism, dual-ranking act consequentialism and an anti-rationalist form of consequentialism. Finally, I (...)
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  24. Lost Without You: The Value of Falling Out of Love.Pilar Lopez-Cantero & Alfred Archer - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):1-15.
    In this paper we develop a view about the disorientation attached to the process of falling out of love and explain its prudential and moral value. We start with a brief background on theories of love and situate our argument within the views concerned with the lovers’ identities. Namely, love changes who we are. In the context of our paper, we explain this common tenet in the philosophy of love as a change in the lovers’ self-concepts through a process of (...)
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  25.  77
    Post-Truth, False Balance and Virtuous Gatekeeping.Natascha Rietdijk & Alfred Archer - forthcoming - In Nancy Snow & Maria Silvia Vaccarezza (eds.), Virtues, Democracy, and Online Media: Ethical and Epistemic Issues. Routledge.
    The claim that we live in a post-truth era has led to a significant body of work across different disciplines exploring the phenomenon. Many have sought to investigate the role of fake news in bringing about the post-truth era. While this work is important, the narrow focus on this issue runs the risk of giving the impression that it is mainly new forms of media that are to blame for the post-truth phenomenon. In this paper, we call attention to the (...)
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  26. Ambassadors of the Game: Do Famous Athletes Have Special Obligations to Act Virtuously?Christopher C. Yorke & Alfred Archer - 2020 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (2):301-317.
    Do famous athletes have special obligations to act virtuously? A number of philosophers have investigated this question by examining whether famous athletes are subject to special role model obligations (Wellman 2003; Feezel 2005; Spurgin 2012). In this paper we will take a different approach and give a positive response to this question by arguing for the position that sport and gaming celebrities are ‘ambassadors of the game’: moral agents whose vocations as rule-followers have unique implications for their non-lusory lives. According (...)
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