Impermissible yet praiseworthy

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Abstract

It is commonly held that unexcused impermissible acts are necessarily blameworthy, not praiseworthy. I argue that unexcused impermissible acts can be not only pro tanto praiseworthy but also overall praiseworthy—and even more so than permissible alternatives. For example, there are cases in which it is impermissible to, at great cost to yourself, rescue fewer rather than more strangers, yet overall praiseworthy, and more so than permissibly rescuing no one. I develop a general framework illuminating how praiseworthiness can so radically come apart from deontic status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697–726
JournalEthics
Volume131
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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