Are Acts of Supererogation Always Praiseworthy?

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-255
Number of pages17
JournalTheoria: A Swedish Journal of Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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