Morally permissible moral mistakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Does it ever happen that there are things we shouldn’t do and the reasons we shouldn’t do them are moral reasons, yet doing them is not morally wrong? Sur-prisingly, yes. I argue for a category that has not been recognized by moral the-orists: morally permissible moral mistakes. Sometimes (but far from always) a su-pererogatory action is the thing a person should do in failing to act, one makes a morally permissible moral mistake. Recognizing the category of morally permis-sible moral mistakes solves a puzzle about supererogation, expands the universe of possible moral views, and shows some apparently inconsistent moral views to be consistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-393
Number of pages28
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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