1st Edition

Sacrifice and Moral Philosophy

Edited By Marcel van Ackeren, Alfred Archer Copyright 2020
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    The aim of this book is to foster a more explicit and direct discussion of the concept of sacrifice and its importance in moral philosophy.

    Acts of self-sacrifice have a special place in our moral lives. We admire and celebrate those who give up their lives so that others may live. Despite this important role that sacrifice plays in our moral thinking, moral philosophers have had surprisingly little to say about the nature of sacrifice. This lack of attention to the nature of sacrifice is particularly important given that sacrifice also has an important role to play in several key debates in moral philosophy. The chapters in this volume make an important contribution to our understanding of sacrifice in three areas. The first part of the book investigates the nature of sacrifice. The next group of chapters investigates the role of sacrifice in moral philosophy. Three of these pieces investigate the role of sacrifice in our moral lives generally, while two investigate the role of sacrifice in relation to particular moral theories. The final two chapters investigate the value of sacrifice in relation to political and theological issues.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Philosophical Studies.

    Introduction: Self-Sacrifice and Moral Philosophy

    Marcel van Ackeren and Alfred Archer

    1. On the Moral Significance of Sacrifice

    Joseph Raz

    2. How Morality Becomes Demanding Cost vs. Difficulty and Restriction

    Marcel van Ackeren

    3. Sacrifice and Relational Well-Being

    Vanessa Carbonell

    4. When does ‘Can’ imply ‘Ought’?

    Stephanie Collins

    5. Sacrificing Value

    Lisa Tessman

    6. The Value of Sacrifices

    Jörg Löschke

    7. Sentimentalist Practical Reason and Self-Sacrifice

    Michael Slote

    8. Demandingness and Boundaries Between Persons

    Edward Harcourt

    9. Rehabilitating Self-Sacrifice: Care Ethics and the Politics of Resistance

    Amanda Cawston and Alfred Archer

    10. The Cross

    Sophie-Grace Chappell


    Marcel van Ackeren is an External Investigator at Freiburg’s Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies, a Research Associate at Oxford’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and an Associate Member of the Faculty of Philosophy in Oxford, UK. He has held visiting positions at Cambridge, Berne and Milan, was Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Wissenschaftskolleg) in Greifswald and was Fellow and Researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Bioethics at Münster University, Germany. He works in ethics, especially demandingness, history of philosophy, especially ancient and Kantian philosophy and methodology/metaphilosophy

    Alfred Archer is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The Department of Philosophy and The Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science at Tilburg University, Netherlands. His primary research is in moral philosophy, particularly supererogation (acts beyond the call of duty) and the nature and ethics of admiration. He also has research interests in political philosophy, applied ethics, philosophy of emotion and the philosophy of sport.