George Sher
Rice University
At one point or another, most of us have been accused of not trying our hardest, and most of us have leveled similar accusations at others. The disputes that result are often intractable and raise difficult questions about effort, ability, and will. This essay addresses some of these questions by examining six representative cases in which the accusation is leveled. The questions discussed include what trying one's hardest involves, and the conditions under which complaints about lack of effort are true, and how much their truth matters. One conclusion that emerges is that both the relevant form of effort and the impediments to making it can vary greatly, while another is that trying one's hardest is less important than trying as hard as one could reasonably be expected to try.
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DOI 10.1017/apa.2020.32
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What We Can Do.Arthur Danto - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (15):435-445.

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