Over-demandingness objections and supererogation

Claire Benn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    There are many points of disagreement in ethical theory and none more prominent than exactly how extensive our obligations are. In order to give succinct examples to illustrate my argument, the author focusses on maximising act consequentialism. He argues that only the final objection-the Confinement Objection-articulates the relationship between supererogation and the demands of a moral theory. Both supererogation and over-demandingness objections place limits on our obligations, precisely because theories are "unreasonably demanding" if they construe "as duties what one would have thought were supererogatory self-sacrifices". Consequentialism is extremely demanding in the sense that it will generally require us "to perform some one action, or one of some very few actions, out of all those that are available". The Extreme Demands Objection, the Moral Fanaticism Objection, and the Confinement Objection are close cousins. They all address the over-demandingness of moral theories like maximising act consequentialism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Limits of Obligation: Moral Demandingness and Ought Implies Can
    Editors Marcel van Ackeren and Michael Kuhler
    Place of PublicationAbingdon
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor and Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9781138824232
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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