Are Acts of Supererogation Always Praiseworthy?

Theoria 82 (3):238-255 (2015)
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Abstract

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 Stipulation in favour of holding that acts of supererogation are always praiseworthy. Next, I will examine what I will call the Necessary Connection Argument, which posits a necessary connection between supererogation and praiseworthiness. I will argue that the intuitions used to motivate this argument are best explained by a debunking explanation.

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Alfred Archer
Tilburg University

Citations of this work

Impermissible yet Praiseworthy.Theron Pummer - 2021 - Ethics 131 (4):697-726.
Supererogation, Sacrifice, and the Limits of Duty.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (3):333-354.
Supererogation, optionality and cost.Claire Benn - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2399-2417.
Supererogation.Alfred Archer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (3):e12476.
Supererogation Across Normative Domains.Brian McElwee - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):505-516.

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References found in this work

Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
Studies in the way of words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Unprincipled virtue: an inquiry into moral agency.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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