Thomas Hurka

in Perfectionism

Published in print June 1996 | ISBN: 9780195101164
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833276 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series


Show Summary Details


A time‐ and agent‐neutral perfectionism must aggregate values both across times in a life and across persons in a society or in the whole world. This chapter examines a series of ways of doing so, arguing that different principles are attractive given perfectionist rather than nonperfectionist values. It rejects additive principles for implying “repugnant conclusions” that are even more repellent for perfectionist than for other values, and defends a diminishing marginal value view that is intermediate between the additive view and averaging. It also examines Nietzsche's antiegalitarian maximax principle, which says society should maximize the excellence of its few most excellent individuals, and a single‐peak view that values the first achievement of a perfectionist good above any subsequent achievements.

Keywords: additive; aggregation; antiegalitarian; averaging; marginal value; maximax; Nietzsche; perfectionism; repugnant conclusion

Chapter.  7833 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.