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Published in: Contemporary Philosophy Vol XXVII, No 3, Fall 2006 (Conference Issue part 1)

Abstract

Often involving sacrifice, heroism is not easily understandable in secular ethical theory, e.g. in Utilitarian, Deontological or Virtue Theory. The consequences of heroism may be useful or not; heroic actions are not duties; and heroism is neither a Golden Mean nor the habitual activity of good persons. If, though, we reverse direction, allowing moral status to a hero's self-imposed duty, the good consequences of his heroism are rational in Utilitarian terms.

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