International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Above and Beyond: Kant and Supererogation

Abstract

The soldier who throws herself upon a grenade in order to save the lives of her comrades is surely to be commended for her selfless act. While most moral theories do not require an agent to make such a sacrifice, nearly every ethical theorist lauds such behaviour as a paradigm case of beneficence. Daniel Guevara, by contrast, argues that Kant cannot account for the moral worth of supererogatory acts. In this essay, I shall examine Guevara’s criticism of Kant’s seeming inability to account for the beneficence of supererogatory acts, and argue that, despite surface appearances, Kantian deontology does not categorically dismiss the moral worth of every supererogatory act.