Promising's Neglected Siblings: Oaths, Vows, and Promissory Obligation

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):858-880 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Promises of a customary, interpersonal kind have received no small amount of philosophical attention. Of particular interest has been their capac- ity to generate moral obligations. This capacity is arguably what distinguishes promises from other, similar phenomena, like communicating a firm intention. But this capacity is common to still other nearby phenomena, such as oaths and vows. These latter phenomena belong to the same family of concepts as promises, but they are structurally and functionally distinct. Taken in their turn, they fill out what I call the ‘breadth criterion’: Theories of promising should cover not only customary, interpersonal promises but also sibling phe- nomena, including oaths and vows. Accommodating the breadth criterion is not something all theories of promising are positioned to accomplish. I focus on the challenge that the breadth criterion poses for Scanlon’s influential ex- pectation view of promising and suggest a normative powers account will fare better.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A contractualist account of promising.Michael J. Cholbi - 2002 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):475-91.
Promising - Part 2.Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):842-851.
Promising ‐ Part 2. [REVIEW]Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):842-851.
The Hybrid Nature of Promissory Obligation.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (3):203–232.
Promises and the Backward Reach of Uptake.Hallie Liberto - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):15-26.
Promise as practice reason.Hanoch Sheinman - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (4):287-318.
Consequentialism, Deontology and the Morality of Promising.Nikil Mukerji - 2014 - In Johanna Jauernig & Christoph Lütge (eds.), Business Ethics and Risk Management. Springer. pp. 111-126.
Directed Obligations and the Trouble with Deathbed Promises.Ashley Dressel - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (2):323-335.
Promising-Part 1.Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):832-841.
Promising-Part 1. [REVIEW]Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):832-841.
The Bounds of Morality.Jeffrey S. Helmreich - 2018 - ProtoSociology 35:217-234.


Added to PP

75 (#221,804)

6 months
28 (#109,975)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kyle Fruh
Duke Kunshan University

Citations of this work

Promises.Allen Habib - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Conventionalism and contingency in promissory powers.Andrew Lichter - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (5-6):1769-1792.
Promises, Offers, Requests, Agreements.Brendan de Kenessey - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.
Promises and all of the people who rely on them.Nick Leonard - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 54 (1):114-129.
The social ontology of promising.Steven Norris - 2021 - Ratio 34 (4):324-333.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Specifying norms as a way to resolve concrete ethical problems.Henry S. Richardson - 1990 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 19 (4):279-310.

View all 28 references / Add more references