Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Morality, Mortality Volume II: Rights, Duties, and Status$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

F. M. Kamm

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195144023.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2019

Supererogation, Obligation, and Intransitivity

Supererogation, Obligation, and Intransitivity

(p.311) 12 Supererogation, Obligation, and Intransitivity
Morality, Mortality Volume II: Rights, Duties, and Status

F. M. Kamm (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Returns to a problem first raised in Ch. 8, namely, reconciling the existence of prerogatives not to maximize overall good (allowing for some such acts to be supererogatory) with restrictions on the pursuit of one's personal good. This problem becomes especially pressing since, despite the earlier emphasis on the existence of restrictions to pursuing the greater good, it is sometimes the case that greater good may permissibly take precedence over restrictions, for example, negative and positive duties (obligations) or rights; if personal good may take precedence over greater good (allowing some acts for greater good to be supererogatory), and these supererogatory acts may take precedence over restrictions, why may not personal good take precedence over restrictions — why does transitivity fail here? An attempt is made to prove each premise in this argument separately, and the associated objections and duties are presented. The third section of the chapter considers whether the intransitivity arises only because different factors account for precedence relations in each step of the argument, or whether the results obtained in the first two sections of the chapter are more general, and, indeed, another instance of the Principle of Contextual Interaction; consideration is also given to whether the intransitivities discussed share the cycling property characteristic of other intransitivities. Concludes by applying these results to a further discussion of those who never allow duty to be subordinated to supererogation, to Scheffler's Hybrid Theory, and to Parfit's problem of the Repugnant Conclusion.

Keywords:   duties, greater good, Hybrid Theory, intransitivity, maximizing overall good, not maximizing overall good, obligations, overall good, Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion, personal good, Principle of Contextual Interaction, restrictions, rights, Scheffler's Hybrid Theory, supererogation, transitivity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .