Results for 'supererogatory'

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  1. Virtue Theory, Ideal Observers, and the Supererogatory.Jason Kawall - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):179-96.
    I argue that recent virtue theories (including those of Hursthouse, Slote, and Swanton) face important initial difficulties in accommodating the supererogatory. In particular, I consider several potential characterizations of the supererogatory modeled upon these familiar virtue theories (and their accounts of rightness) and argue that they fail to provide an adequate account of supererogation. In the second half of the paper I sketch an alternative virtue-based characterization of supererogation, one that is grounded in the attitudes of virtuous ideal (...)
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  2. Supererogatory Spandrels.Claire Benn - 2017 - Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics 19 (1):269-290.
    Standing in San Marco Cathedral in Venice, you immediately notice the exquisitely decorated spandrels: the triangular spaces bounded on either side by adjoining arches and by the dome above. You would be forgiven for seeing them as the starting point from which to understand the surrounding architecture. To do so would, however, be a mistake. It is a similar mistaken inference that evolutionary biologists have been accused of making in assuming a special adaptive purpose for such biological features as fingerprints (...)
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  3. Self-Regarding Supererogatory Actions.Jason Kawall - 2003 - Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (3):487–498.
    Many philosophers, in discussing supererogation, maintain that supererogatory actions must be done for the benefit of others. In this paper I argue that there can be instances of self-regarding supererogatory actions. That is, there are cases in which the primary (or sole) intended beneficiary of a supererogatory action is the agent herself, and she need not be acting out of a concern for morality or moral rules. In such cases the agent still acts suitably 'beyond the call (...)
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  4. 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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  5.  41
    Beyond Good and Bad.William Jimenez-Leal, Samuel Murray, Santiago Amaya & Sergio Barbosa - manuscript
    We argue that people regularly encounter situations involving moral conflicts among permissible options. These scenarios, which some have called morally charged situations, reflect perceived tensions between moral expectations and moral rights. Studying responses to such situations marks a departure from the common emphasis on sacrificial dilemmas and widespread use of single-dimension measures. In 6 experiments (n=1607), we show that people use a wide conceptual arsenal when assessing actions that can be described as suberogatory (bad but permissible) or supererogatory (good (...)
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  6.  57
    Farewell to Arms? The All-or-Nothing Problem Again.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Joe Horton’s all-or-nothing problem concerns a situation in which it is morally permissible to do nothing and to save two people but not to save only one. This description seems to entail that we should do nothing rather than save only one. I object to Horton’s solution and challenge a principle he draws attention to, which is required to generate the problem but which Horton regards as beyond dispute.
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  7. Three Paradoxes of Supererogation.Daniel Muñoz - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Supererogatory acts—good deeds “beyond the call of duty”—are a part of moral common sense, but conceptually puzzling. I propose a unified solution to three of the most infamous puzzles: the classic Paradox of Supererogation (if it’s so good, why isn’t it just obligatory?), Horton’s All or Nothing Problem, and Kamm’s Intransitivity Paradox. I conclude that supererogation makes sense if, and only if, the grounds of rightness are multi-dimensional and comparative.
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  8. 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 (...)
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  9. What Normative Terms Mean and Why It Matters for Ethical Theory.Alex Silk - 2015 - In Mark C. Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 5. pp. 296–325.
    This paper investigates how inquiry into normative language can improve substantive normative theorizing. First I examine two dimensions along which normative language differs: “strength” and “subjectivity.” Next I show how greater sensitivity to these features of the meaning and use of normative language can illuminate debates about three issues in ethics: the coherence of moral dilemmas, the possibility of supererogatory acts, and the connection between making a normative judgment and being motivated to act accordingly. The paper concludes with several (...)
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  10. Transitivity, Moral Latitude, and Supererogation.Douglas W. Portmore - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (3):286-298.
    On what I take to be the standard account of supererogation, an act is supererogatory if and only if it is morally optional and there is more moral reason to perform it than to perform some permissible alternative. And, on this account, an agent has more moral reason to perform one act than to perform another if and only if she morally ought to prefer how things would be if she were to perform the one to how things would (...)
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  11. Moral Vegetarianism Vs. Moral Omnivorism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Human Affairs 27 (3):289-300.
    It is supererogatory to refrain from eating meat, just as it is supererogatory to refrain from driving cars, living in apartments, and wearing makeup, for the welfare of animals. If all animals are equal, and if nonhuman omnivores, such as bears and baboons, are justified in killing the members of other species, such as gazelles and buffaloes, for food, humans are also justified in killing the members of other species, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, for food. In (...)
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  12.  97
    In Defense of Realism and Selectivism From Lyons’s Objections.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (4):605-615.
    Lyons (2016, 2017, 2018) formulates Laudan’s (1981) historical objection to scientific realism as a modus tollens. I present a better formulation of Laudan’s objection, and then argue that Lyons’s formulation is supererogatory. Lyons rejects scientific realism (Putnam, 1975) on the grounds that some successful past theories were (completely) false. I reply that scientific realism is not the categorical hypothesis that all successful scientific theories are (approximately) true, but rather the statistical hypothesis that most successful scientific theories are (approximately) true. (...)
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  13. Epistemic Supererogation and its Implications.Trevor Hedberg - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3621-3637.
    Supererogatory acts, those which are praiseworthy but not obligatory, have become a significant topic in contemporary moral philosophy, primarily because morally supererogatory acts have proven difficult to reconcile with other important aspects of normative ethics. However, despite the similarities between ethics and epistemology, epistemic supererogation has received very little attention. In this paper, I aim to further the discussion of supererogation by arguing for the existence of epistemically supererogatory acts and considering the potential implications of their existence. (...)
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  14. Too Much Morality.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - In Paul Bloomfield (ed.), Morality and Self-Interest. Oxford University Press.
    This paper addresses the nature and relationship of morality and self-interest, arguing that what we morally ought to do almost always conflicts with what we self-interestedly ought to do. The concept of morality is analyzed as being essentially and radically other-regarding, and the category of the supererogatory is explained as consisting in what we morally ought to do but are not socially expected to do. I express skepticism about whether there is a coherent question, ‘Which ought I all things (...)
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  15. Supererogation, Optionality and Cost.Claire Benn - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2399-2417.
    A familiar part of debates about supererogatory actions concerns the role that cost should play. Two camps have emerged: one claiming that extreme cost is a necessary condition for when an action is supererogatory, while the other denies that it should be part of our definition of supererogation. In this paper, I propose an alternative position. I argue that it is comparative cost that is central to the supererogatory and that it is needed to explain a feature (...)
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  16. Must I Do What I Ought (or Will the Least I Can Do Do)?Paul McNamara - 1996 - In Mark Brown & Jose' Carmo (eds.), Deontic Logic, Agency and Normative Systems. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp. 154-173.
    Appears to give the first model-theoretic account of both "must" and "ought" (without conflating them with one another). Some key pre-theoretic semantic and pragmatic phenomena that support a negative answer to the main title question are identified and a conclusion of some significance is drawn: a pervasive bipartisan presupposition of twentieth century ethical theory and deontic logic is false. Next, an intuitive model-theoretic framework for "must" and "ought" is hypothesized. It is then shown how this hypothesis helps to explain and (...)
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  17. How Supererogation Can Save Intrapersonal Permissivism.Han Li - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):171-186.
    Rationality is intrapersonally permissive just in case there are multiple doxastic states that one agent may be rational in holding at a given time, given some body of evidence. One way for intrapersonal permissivism to be true is if there are epistemic supererogatory beliefs—beliefs that go beyond the call of epistemic duty. Despite this, there has been almost no discussion of epistemic supererogation in the permissivism literature. This paper shows that this is a mistake. It does this by arguing (...)
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  18. A Theory of Epistemic Supererogation.Han Li - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):349-367.
    Though there is a wide and varied literature on ethical supererogation, there has been almost nothing written about its epistemic counterpart, despite an intuitive analogy between the two fields. This paper seeks to change this state of affairs. I will begin by showing that there are examples which intuitively feature epistemically supererogatory doxastic states. Next, I will present a positive theory of epistemic supererogation that can vindicate our intuitions in these examples, in an explanation that parallels a popular theory (...)
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  19.  81
    What is Wrong with Promising to Supererogate.Claire Benn - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):55-61.
    There has been some debate as to whether or not it is possible to keep a promise, and thus fulfil a duty, to supererogate. In this paper, I argue, in agreement with Jason Kawall, that such promises cannot be kept. However, I disagree with Kawall’s diagnosis of the problem and provide an alternative account. In the first section, I examine the debate between Kawall and David Heyd, who rejects Kawall’s claim that promises to supererogate cannot be kept. I disagree with (...)
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  20.  95
    Intentions, Motives and Supererogation.Claire Benn - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (1):107-123.
    Amy saves a man from drowning despite the risk to herself, because she is moved by his plight. This is a quintessentially supererogatory act: an act that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Beth, on the other hand, saves a man from drowning because she wants to get her name in the paper. On this second example, opinions differ. One view of supererogation holds that, despite being optional and good, Beth’s act is not supererogatory because she (...)
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  21. Promising and Supererogation.Jason Kawall - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):389-398.
    A paradox involving promises to perform supererogatory actions is developed. Several attempts to resolve the problem, focusing in particular on changing our understanding of supererogatory actions, are explored. It is concluded that none of the proposed solutions are viable; the problem lies in promises with certain contents, not in our understanding of supererogation.
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  22. The Suberogation Problem for Lei Zhong's Confucian Virtue Theory of Supererogation.Tsung-Hsing Ho - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (3):779-784.
    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 (...)
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  23. Why Proximity Matters for the Concept of Supererogation.Simone Grigoletto - 2017 - Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics 19 (1):291-307.
    The concept of supererogation is strictly correlated with duty, since its peculiar value is defined by acts that go beyond our regular obligations. This paper highlights the importance of proximity (relational closeness) in allowing the proper theoretical space to supererogation. As a matter of fact if we broaden our sense of duty, the possibility to perform supererogatory acts correspondingly decreases. Special obligations emphasize how difficult acts of supererogation are to perform if we stand in some morally-relevant special position with (...)
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  24. On Promising to Supererogate: A Response to Heyd.Jason Kawall - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):153-156.
    In my “Promising and Supererogation” I argue that one cannot fulfill promises to perform supererogatory actions (such as “I hereby promise to perform one supererogatory action every month”). In a response to my paper, David Heyd argues that there is an alternative solution to the problem I raise. While I agree with much that Heyd says about the examples he discusses, his proposed solution involves a crucial alteration of the problem; his proposed solution does not solve the problem (...)
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  25.  76
    The Relevance of Cosmopolitanism for Moral Education.Michael S. Merry & Doret J. de Ruyter - 2011 - Journal of Moral Education 40 (1):1-18.
    In this article we defend a moral conception of cosmopolitanism and its relevance for moral education. Our moral conception of cosmopolitanism presumes that persons possess an inherent dignity in the Kantian sense and therefore they should be recognised as ends?in?themselves. We argue that cosmopolitan ideals can inspire moral educators to awaken and cultivate in their pupils an orientation and inclination to struggle against injustice. Moral cosmopolitanism, in other words, should more explicitly inform the work that moral educators do. Real?world constraints (...)
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  26.  87
    The Enemy of the Good: Supererogation and Requiring Perfection.Claire Benn - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (3):333-354.
    Moral theories that demand that we do what is morally best leave no room for the supererogatory. One argument against such theories is that they fail to realize the value of autonomy: supererogatory acts allow for the exercise of autonomy because their omissions are not accompanied by any threats of sanctions, unlike obligatory ones. While this argument fails, I use the distinction it draws – between omissions of obligatory and supererogatory acts in terms of appropriate sanctions – (...)
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  27. Imagining Others.Heidi L. Maibom - 2010 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 5 (1):34-49.
    It is often argued that the ability to imagine what others think and feel is central to moral functioning. In this paper, I consider to what extent this is true. I argue that neither the ability to think of others as having representational mental states, nor the ability to imagine being in their position, is necessary for moral understanding or moral motivation. I go on to argue that the area in which thinking about others’ thoughts and feelings appears to play (...)
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  28. Two-Tier Moral Codes.Holly M. Smith - 1989 - Social Philosophy and Policy 7 (1):112.
    A moral code consists of principles that assign moral status to individual actions – principles that evaluate acts as right or wrong, prohibited or obligatory, permissible or supererogatory. Many theorists have held that such principles must serve two distinct functions. On the one hand, they serve a theoretical function, insofar as they specify the characteristics in virtue of which acts possess their moral status. On the other hand, they serve a practical function, insofar as they provide an action-guide: a (...)
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  29.  73
    The Good, the Bad, and the Obligatory.James Edwin Mahon - 2006 - Journal of Value Inquiry 40 (1):59-71.
    In this article I reject the argument of Colin McGinn ("Must I Be Morally Perfect?", 1992) that ordinary morality requires that each of us be morally perfect. McGinn's definition of moral perfection –– according to which I am morally perfect if I never do anything that is supererogatory, but always do what is obligatory, and always avoid doing what is impermissible –– should be rejected, because it is open to the objection that I am morally perfect if I always (...)
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  30.  39
    Only Through Complexity. Morality and the Case of Supererogation.Simone Grigoletto - 2019 - Padova University Press.
    This volume deals with some of the major issues in contemporary moral philosophy. The core metaethical argument illuminates the structure of a moral system and emphasizes the importance of a phenomenological attitude toward the moral subject. From this starting point, further questions (typically addressed in normative ethics) arise: “How does moral deliberation work?” “How is moral justification possible?” “What is moral pluralism?” “How do we give an account of supererogatory acts?” Regarding all these questions, the volume works out the (...)
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  31. What We Owe to Ourselves: Essays on Rights and Supererogation.Daniel Muñoz - 2019 - Dissertation, MIT
    Some sacrifices—like giving a kidney or heroically dashing into a burning building—are supererogatory: they are good deeds beyond the call of duty. But if such deeds are really so good, philosophers ask, why shouldn’t morality just require them? The standard answer is that morality recognizes a special role for the pursuit of self-interest, so that everyone may treat themselves as if they were uniquely important. This idea, however, cannot be reconciled with the compelling picture of morality as impartial—the view (...)
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