Praise, Blame, Obligation, and Beyond: Toward a Framework for Classical Supererogation and Kin

  • Paul McNamara
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5076)


Continuing prior work ([1, 2]), I integrate a simple system for personal obligation with a system for aretaic (agent-evaluative) appraisal. I then explore various relationships between definable aretaic statuses such as praiseworthiness and blameworthiness and deontic statuses such as obligatoriness and impermissibility. I focus on partitions of the normative statuses generated (cf. "normative positions" but without explicit representation of agency). In addition to representing and exploring traditional questions in ethical theory about the connection between blame, praise, permissibility and obligation, this allows me to carefully represent schemes for supererogation and kin. These controversial concepts have provided challenges to both ethical theory and deontic logic, and are among deontic logic’s test cases.


Supererogation Offense Praise Blame Obligation Aretaic Deontic Neutral Indifferent 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul McNamara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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