CFP: Supererogation: Feminist Perspectives

Submission deadline: March 1, 2023

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Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Journal for Ethics and Moral Philosophy

Supererogation: Feminist Perspectives

Guest editors: Katharina Naumann (Magdeburg), Marie-Luise Raters (Potsdam), Karoline Reinhardt (Passau)

Papers should not exceed 8000 words. Submitted papers will undergo a double blind peer review process. Submission deadline is March 1 2023. For further information on style, format and submission details please see:

In our moral practice, some actions are considered morally good, yet not morally required. In his seminal essay "Saints and Heroes" (1958) J.O. Urmson coined the scholastic notion of 'supererogation' for such actions. The subsequent modern supererogation debate is predominantly concerned with the definition of ‘supererogation’, its justification and the question whether there are in fact supererogatory acts. Furthermore, it is disputed whether and to what extent people who act supererogatorily should be seen as moral exemplars. The category has also found its way into debates in applied ethics, especially when discussing the (presumed) over-demandingness of some moral obligations with regard to particular situations.

However, what has not received sufficient attention yet within debates on supererogation is that regarding something as a duty or as going beyond duty relates among other things to social expectations and gender roles. Therefore, drawing on theoretical and methodological resources from feminist philosophy, the special issue seeks to illuminate the relation of supererogation and gender in its moral, political, social and epistemic dimensions.

We, thus, welcome submissions that are related to the following topics:

• The Saints and Hero*ines of Supererogation Debate – Feminist Analyses: To what extent do gender roles influence the attributions of heroism and sainthood, and what repercussions do their figurations have on conventional and stereotyped gender roles? Can and should we gender moral exemplarism? Do we need other hero*ines or should we rather strive for a postheroic feminism?

• Taxonomies of supererogatory acts – Feminist deconstructions: Does the judgment of certain acts (such as forgiveness, gratitude, or charity) as 'supererogatory' depend on gendered social expectations and if so in which way and to what extent? What moral, affective, and epistemic injustices does this entail? And how does it possibly contribute to (re)producing oppressive social structures?

• Altruism, sacrifice and love – supererogation and care ethics: How do supererogation research and care ethics relate to each other? Do care ethical arguments entail potentially problematic gendered role expectations? Can supererogation only be explained in terms of altruistic motives of care? When does altruism turn into supererogatory self-sacrifice?

• Epistemic hero:ines? – Feminist epistemology and supererogation: Are members of marginalized groups in a privileged epistemic situation and if so, does this entail special epistemic and/or moral duties? What are their limits? Is there a need for epistemic hero*ines to initiate and foster social transformations? Is there anything to be systematically gained from the concept of epistemic heroism in relation to the supererogation debate and vice versa?

• Challenges and potentials of heroizing victims? – Feminist social philosophy: What are the challenges and potentials of the tendency to heroize victims? Does it make a moral difference whether one is heroized because of or in spite of being a victim? Does the heroism of victims lie in quiet endurance or in courageous resistance? Which narratives and imaginaries underlie the assessments?

If you intent to contribute to this issue and have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the guest editors in advance.
Contact: Dr. Katharina Naumann (Universität Magdeburg) [email protected] Prof. Dr. Marie-Luise Raters (Universität Potsdam) ; [email protected] ; Prof. Dr. Karoline Reinhardt (Universität Passau) [email protected]

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