Philosophia 47 (4):1141-1163 (2019)

Abstract
How can it be that some acts of very high moral value are not morally required? This is the problem of supererogation. I do not argue in favor of a particular answer. Instead, I analyze two opposing moral intuitions the problem involves. First, that one should always do one’s best. Second, that sometimes we are morally allowed not to do our best. To think that one always has to do one’s best is less plausible, as it makes every morally best act obligatory. I argue that, despite its implausibility, this is the main ingredient in a traditional outlook I call ‘morality of law,’ which conceives of morality as impartial, impersonal, rule-based and obligation-based. My main point is that supererogation will always be seen as problematic if the background theory is a morality of law. This is because supererogation encapsulates a view of morality-outside-obligation, whereas morality of law centers upon obligation as its main instrument of curbing a supposedly natural human selfishness.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-018-0045-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Beyond Obligation: Reasons and Supererogation.Michael Ferry - 2015 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 77:49-65.
Supererogation and the Case Against an 'Overall Ought'.Elizabeth Ventham - 2020 - American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (2):181-192.
Supererogation, Sacrifice, and the Limits of Duty.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (3):333-354.
Divine Moral Goodness, Supererogation and The Euthyphro Dilemma.Alfred Archer - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (2):147-160.
A Confucian Virtue Theory of Supererogation.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (1):328-341.
Self-Regarding Supererogatory Actions.Jason Kawall - 2003 - Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (3):487–498.
Supererogation and the Limits of Moral Obligations. Guest Editor’s Preface.Simone Grigoletto - 2017 - Etica and Politica / Ethics and Politics 19 (1):221-224.
Supererogation.Alfred Archer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (3).
The Nature of Supererogation.M. W. Jackson - 1986 - Journal of Value Inquiry 20 (4):289-296.
Supererogation in Clinical Research.Deborah R. Barnbaum - 2008 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11 (3):343-349.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-11-15

Total views
53 ( #212,121 of 2,498,788 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #170,176 of 2,498,788 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes