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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 17647
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   The Cautionary Account of Supererogation
1.  Seyyed Mohsen Eslami
2.  Alfred Archer
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Philosophical Quarterly
  Year:  2024
  Supported by:  IPM
The problem of supererogation has attracted significant attention from contemporary moral philosophers. In this paper, we show that this problem was outlined in different terms in the work of the 11th century Persian philosopher Abū Alī Miskawayh. As well as identifying this problem, Miskawayh also developed a unique solution cashed out in terms of virtue ethics that has not yet been considered in the contemporary literature. We will argue that this solution, which is in its general form independent of virtue ethics, provides a plausible explanation of what makes some acts supererogatory and faces two important advantages over the most popular response to the problem of supererogation, The Sacrifice View. Unlike The Sacrifice View, The Cautionary Account can class acts of benevolence that advance the agent's own interests as supererogatory and easily explain why certain acts of sacrifice are neither permissible nor praiseworthy.

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