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  1. Moral Obligation, Self-Interest and The Transitivity Problem.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4):441-464.
    Is the relation ‘is a morally permissible alternative to’ transitive? The answer seems to be a straightforward yes. If Act B is a morally permissible alternative to Act A and Act C is a morally permissible alternative to B then how could C fail to be a morally permissible alternative to A? However, as both Dale Dorsey and Frances Kamm point out, there are cases where this transitivity appears problematic. My aim in this paper is to provide a solution to (...)
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  • The Supererogatory and How Not To Accommodate It: A Reply to Dorsey.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):179-188.
    It is plausible to think that there exist acts of supererogation. It also seems plausible that there is a close connection between what we are morally required to do and what it would be morally good to do. Despite being independently plausible these two claims are hard to reconcile. My aim in this article will be to respond to a recent solution to this puzzle proposed by Dale Dorsey. Dorsey's solution to this problem is to posit a new account of (...)
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  • Willpower Satisficing.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):251-265.
    Satisficing Consequentialism is often rejected as hopeless. Perhaps its greatest problem is that it risks condoning the gratuitous prevention of goodness above the baseline of what qualifies as "good enough". I propose a radical new willpower-based version of the view that avoids this problem, and that better fits with the motivation of avoiding an excessively demanding conception of morality. I further demonstrate how, by drawing on the resources of an independent theory of blameworthiness, we may obtain a principled specification of (...)
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  • Forgiveness and the Limits of Duty.Archer Alfred - 2017 - Etica and Politica/ Ethics and Politics 19 (1):225-244.
    Can there be a duty to forgive those who have wronged us? According to a popular view amongst philosophers working on forgiveness the answer is no. Forgiveness, it is claimed, is always elective. This view is rejected by Gamlund (2010a; 2010b) who argues that duties to forgive do exist and then provides conditions that are relevant to determining whether forgiveness is obligatory or supererogatory. In this paper I will argue that the conditions that Gamlund provides do not provide a plausible (...)
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  • Accommodating Options.Seth Lazar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):233-255.
    Many of us think we have agent-centred options to act suboptimally. Some of these involve favouring our own interests. Others involve sacrificing them. In this paper, I explore three different ways to accommodate agent-centred options in a criterion of objective permissibility. I argue against satisficing and rational pluralism, and in favour of a principle built around sensitivity to personal cost.
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  • Supererogation.Alfred Archer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (3).
    It is a recognizable feature of commonsense morality that some actions are beyond the call of duty or supererogatory. Acts of supererogation raise a number of interesting philosophical questions and debates. This article will provide an overview of three of these debates. First, I will provide an overview of the debate about whether or not acts of supererogation exist. Next, I will investigate the issue of how to define the supererogatory. I will finish by examining a problem known as the (...)
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  • Evil and Moral Detachment: Further Reflections on The Mirror Thesis.Alfred Archer - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (2):201-218.
    A commonly accepted claim by philosophers investigating the nature of evil is that the evil person is, in some way, the mirror image of the moral saint. In this paper I will defend a new version of this thesis. I will argue that both the moral saint and the morally evil person are characterized by a lack of conflict between moral and non-moral concerns. However, while the saint achieves this unity through a reconciliation of the two, the evil person does (...)
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  • Self-Sacrifice and Moral Philosophy.Marcel van Ackeren & Alfred Archer - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):301-307.
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  • Supererogation, Sacrifice, and the Limits of Duty.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (3):333-354.
    It is often claimed that all acts of supererogation involve sacrifice. This claim is made because it is thought that it is the level of sacrifice involved that prevents these acts from being morally required. In this paper, I will argue against this claim. I will start by making a distinction between two ways of understanding the claim that all acts of supererogation involve sacrifice. I will then examine some purported counterexamples to the view that supererogation always involves sacrifice and (...)
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  • Supererogation, Optionality and Cost.Claire Benn - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2399-2417.
    A familiar part of debates about supererogatory actions concerns the role that cost should play. Two camps have emerged: one claiming that extreme cost is a necessary condition for when an action is supererogatory, while the other denies that it should be part of our definition of supererogation. In this paper, I propose an alternative position. I argue that it is comparative cost that is central to the supererogatory and that it is needed to explain a feature that all accounts (...)
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  • On Why There is a Problem of Supererogation.Nora Grigore - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-23.
    How can it be that some acts of very high moral value are not morally required? This is the problem of supererogation. I do not argue in favor of a particular answer. Instead, I analyze two opposing moral intuitions the problem involves. First, that one should always do one’s best. Second, that sometimes we are morally allowed not to do our best. To think that one always has to do one’s best is less plausible, as it makes every morally best (...)
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  • The Enemy of the Good: Supererogation and Requiring Perfection.Claire Benn - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (3):333-354.
    Moral theories that demand that we do what is morally best leave no room for the supererogatory. One argument against such theories is that they fail to realize the value of autonomy: supererogatory acts allow for the exercise of autonomy because their omissions are not accompanied by any threats of sanctions, unlike obligatory ones. While this argument fails, I use the distinction it draws – between omissions of obligatory and supererogatory acts in terms of appropriate sanctions – to draw a (...)
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  • Supererogation and Intentions of the Agent.Alfred Archer - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (2):447-462.
    It has been claimed, by David Heyd, that in order for an act to count as supererogatory the agent performing the act must possess altruistic intentions (1982 p.115). This requirement, Heyd claims, allows us to make sense of the meritorious nature of acts of supererogation. In this paper I will investigate whether there is good reason to accept that this requirement is a necessary condition of supererogation. I will argue that such a reason can be found in cases where two (...)
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  • Are Acts of Supererogation Always Praiseworthy?Alfred Archer - 2016 - Theoria 82 (3):238-255.
    It is commonly assumed that praiseworthiness should form part of the analysis of supererogation. I will argue that this view should be rejected. I will start by arguing that, at least on some views of the connection between moral value and praiseworthiness, it does not follow from the fact that acts of supererogation go beyond what is required by duty that they will always be praiseworthy to perform. I will then consider and dismiss what I will call the Argument from (...)
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  • The Heroism Paradox: Another Paradox of Supererogation.Alfred Archer & Michael Ridge - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1575-1592.
    Philosophers are by now familiar with “the” paradox of supererogation. This paradox arises out of the idea that it can never be permissible to do something morally inferior to another available option, yet acts of supererogation seem to presuppose this. This paradox is not our topic in this paper. We mention it only to set it to one side and explain our subtitle. In this paper we introduce and explore another paradox of supererogation, one which also deserves serious philosophical attention. (...)
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  • The Supererogatory, and How to Accommodate It.Dale Dorsey - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (3):355-382.
    Many find it plausible to posit a category of supererogatory actions. But the supererogatory resists easy analysis. Traditionally, supererogatory actions are characterized as actions that are morally good, but not morally required; actions that go the call of our moral obligations. As I shall argue in this article, however, the traditional analysis can be accepted only by a view with troubling consequences concerning the structure of the moral point of view. I propose a different analysis that is extensionally correct, avoids (...)
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