The Rationally Supererogatory

Claire Benn, Adam Bales

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The notion of supererogation-going above and beyond the call of duty-is typically discussed in a moral context. However, in this paper we argue for the existence of rationally supererogatory actions: that is, actions that go above and beyond the call of rational duty. In order to establish the existence of such actions, we first need to overcome the so-called paradox of supererogation: we need to provide some explanation for why, if some act is rationally optimal, it is not the case that we are rationally required to carry out that act. We argue that a response to this 'paradox' can be found by reflecting on normative conflicts: cases where what is best according to some normative domain is different from what is best according to some other normative domain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)917-938
    Issue number515
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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