Folia Philosophica 29:127--159 (2013)

Piotr Machura
University Of Silesia In Katowice
The aim of the paper is to investigate the relations between the basic moral categories, namely those of norms, ideals and supererogation. The subject of discussion is, firstly, the ways that these categories are understood; secondly, the possible approaches towards moral acting that appear due to their use; and thirdly, their relationship within the moral system. However, what is of a special importance here is the relationship between the categories of norms and ideals (or in a wider aspect — laudable acts) and a thesis about their complementary character. For it seems that the omission of one of the elements that are analysed within a moral system must result in an essential limitation of both the possibilities of finding an adequate approach to a given moral problem (on a descriptive level), as well as defining the full set of normative guidelines. Therefore, as I shall argue, resigning from a two-level method of moral analysis may lead to the atrophy of the very idea of ethics itself.
Keywords Ethics  moral norms  perfectionism  supererogation  Polish philosophy  Moral theory
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