Toward a Rule-Utilitarian Theory of Supererogation

Philosophy Research Archives 7 (NO 1418):582-598 (1981)
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Abstract

This article seeks to make a contribution toward the eventual construction of an adequate formulation of rule-utilitarianism by explaining some of the difficulties the notion of supererogation poses for such an enterprise, and by describing a rule-utilitarian theory of supererogation which would resolve those difficulties. I begin in Section I by considering how best to define 'supererogation'. I propose a reforming definition at the end of that section. In Section II I claim that rule-utilitarians must recognize a distinction between two types of rules if they hope to avoid the difficulties mentioned above. In Section III I attempt to explain and to resolve the difficulties supererogation poses for rule-utilitarianism. (edited)

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