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Title: A Levinasian Reconceptalization of Supererogation
Authors: Andrade, Julio A.
Keywords: Levinassupererogationautonomysacrificeprovisionalitysaints
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Julio A. Andrade, "A Levinasian Reconceptalization of Supererogation", in "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/2", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019, pp. 449-472
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
Supererogatory acts, as moral acts that go beyond duty, problematise the notions of obligation
and autonomy within such impartialist ethical accounts such as Kantianism and utilitarianism
which opt to reduce and assimilate supererogation as a result. Bernard Williams’s conception of
a moral incapacity challenges the claim that cost to the moral agent, and consequently, autonomy,
are necessary to conceptualise supererogation. I extend this finding by adapting Craig Taylor’s
idea of a primitive moral response as an attitude that can ground supererogation. However, because
such a primitive response is too self-regarding, I argue for a reinscription of such an attitude
in terms of a Levinasian moral response. Such a response relies on a reconsidered autonomy
that is grounded in the alterity of the Other, but which is incessantly corrected by the presence
of the third party to the face to face encounter. I argue for an understanding of such an incessant
correction in terms of a Levinasian normativity which as a provisional imperative, can also be
thought of as an attitude. I claim that Levinasian normativity is supererogatory and that supererogation
can also be reconceptualised as the possibility of sacrifice rather than actual sacrifice.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/28379
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/2

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