A Conceptual Framework for Supererogation
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In this thesis an attempt is made to provide a satisfactory account of supererogatory acts, i.e. those acts which are considered to be right to do and not wrong not to do, and are sometimes idiomatically referred to as 'above and beyond the call of duty'. A partial classification of moral terminology is given under the traditional headings of the deontological, the aretological, and the axiological, each of which is associated with certain modes of evaluation, viz. act evaluation, agent evaluation, or some combination of these. Various definitions employing these moral terms are proposed and all are found to be inadequate for distinguishing supererogatory acts from duty-fulfilling or merely permissible acts. A distinction is made between intrinsic value (herein called 'non-moral value' for purposes of contrast) and moral value. Employing this distinction a sufficient definition of supererogation is formulated in which all the moral terms are in an act evaluatory mode.