David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (1):9-27 (2005)
There seems to be a strong sentiment in pre-philosophical moral thought that actions can be morally valuable without at the same time being morally required. Yet Kant, who takes great pride in developing an ethical system firmly grounded in common moral thought, makes no provision for any such extraordinary acts of virtue. Rather, he supports a classification of actions as either obligatory, permissible or prohibited, which in the eyes of his critics makes it totally inadequate to the facts of morality. The related idea of uncommonly grand and noble deeds is frequently dismissed by Kant as high-.own emotional nonsense. Such considerations give rise to the fear that actions intuitively classed as morally commendable but not required must be re-classified as commands of duty by Kant, making his ethical theory as unbearably demanding as direct utilitarianism. The paper divides into three sections: (1) an examination of the nature of moral goodness from a meta-ethical angle that introduces some passages from Kant's writings presenting strong theoretical evidence against the case for supererogatory action; (2) a critique of Thomas Hill's suggestion that within the category of wide duty we can accommodate some of the main features of actions classified as supererogatory in other ethical systems; concluding that, contra Hill, there are no actions of wide duty that can be so characterized in any significant sense; and (3) a final discussion of the problem of how demanding the requirements of Kantian ethical theory really are.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Matthias Brinkmann (2015). Disjunctive Duties and Supererogatory Sets of Actions. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 77:67-86.
B. Saunders (2015). Is Procreative Beneficence Obligatory? Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):175-178.
Mavis Biss (2015). Avoiding Vice and Pursuing Virtue: Kant on Perfect Duties and ‘Prudential Latitude’. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):n/a-n/a.
Alice Pinheiro Walla (2015). Kant’s Moral Theory and Demandingness. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):731-743.
Ulla Wessels (2015). Beyond the Call of Duty: The Structure of a Moral Region. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 77:87-104.
Similar books and articles
Kate A. Moran (forthcoming). For Community's Sake: A (Self-Respecting) Kantian Account of Forgiveness. Proceedings of the XI International Kant-Kongress.
John Hardwig (1983). Action From Duty but Not in Accord with Duty. Ethics 93 (2):283-290.
Emer O’Hagan (2009). Moral Self-Knowledge in Kantian Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):525 - 537.
Allen W. Wood (2003). The Good Will. Philosophical Topics 31 (1/2):457-484.
Barbara Herman (1981). On the Value of Acting From the Motive of Duty. Philosophical Review 90 (3):359-382.
Emer O'Hagan (2009). Moral Self-Knowledge in Kantian Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):525-537.
Karen Stohr (2011). Kantian Beneficence and the Problem of Obligatory Aid. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):45-67.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). From Duty and for the Sake of the Noble: Kant and Aristotle on Morally Good Action. In Stephen Engstrom & Jennifer Whiting (eds.), Aristotle, Kant, and the Stoics: Rethinking Happiness and Duty. Cambridge University Press
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads80 ( #49,656 of 1,790,069 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #140,525 of 1,790,069 )
How can I increase my downloads?