Must We Be Perfect?: A Case Against Supererogation


In this paper we offer an argument against supererogation and in favour of moral perfectionism. We argue three primary points: 1) That the putative moral category is not generated by any of the main normative ethical systems, and it is difficult to find space for it in these systems at all; 2) That the primary support for supererogation is based on intuitions, which can be undercut by various other pieces of evidence; and 3) That there are better reasons to favour perfectionism, including competing intuitions about the good-ought tie-up, and the epistemic preference for theoretical simplicity.

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Author Profiles

Calum Miller
University of Oxford
Megan Fritts
University of Arkansas, Little Rock

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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