David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):593-624 (1999)
It is common to think that certain acts are supererogatory, especially certain heroic or saintly self-sacrifices for the good. The idea seems to have an ordinary and clear application. Nothing shows this better than the well-known cases which J. O. Urmson adduced. Urmson argued that no major moral theory could give a proper account of the supererogatory character of such acts, and that therefore none could account for "all the facts of morality," as he put it. But his arguments were sketchy. This paper shall show, in some detail, that he was essentially right about Kant's moral theory, and that the criticism goes deep and holds up against recent sympathetic interpretation of Kant's views of duty and worth
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