Comment on “Supererogation for Utilitarianism,” by J. P. Vessel


Supererogation is the theory that some acts go beyond the call of duty. They are praiseworthy, but their omission is not blameworthy. Notice that supererogation has to do with praise and blame as well as with what is a duty or morally obligatory. Moral duty requires a moral system on the basis of which duty or obligation is assigned. Utilitarianism can provide a criterion of moral obligation, and it can also provide a criterion for moral praise and blame. However, there is no necessity that the utilitarian criteria for praise and blame should be precisely correlated with its criteria of the morally obligatory and permissible



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