Advertisement

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1079–1090 | Cite as

Expectations and Obligations

  • Matej CibikEmail author
Article

Abstract

Ever since the publication of Scanlon’s Promises and Practices and What We Owe to Each Other, expectations have become an important topic within discussions on promises. However, confining the role of expectations to promises does not do justice to their importance in creating obligations more generally. This paper argues that expectations are one of the major sources of obligations created within our personal relationships. What we owe to our friends, partners, or siblings very often follows neither from the duties associated with the given role, nor from our explicit promises, commitments, declarations, or consents. The obligations that our close relationships create often arise from a shared understanding of those relationships—and subsequent mutually acknowledged expectations.

Keywords

Expectations Obligations Promises Scanlon 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the audiences at British Society for Ethical Thought Annual Conference and “Situating the Human” workshop, as well as all my colleagues from University of Pardubice for many stimulating comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Special thanks goes to Marina Barabas, who made me re-think the framing of the main argument.

This publication was supported within the project of Operational Programme Research, Development and Education (OP VVV/OP RDE), “Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value”, registration No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000425, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the state budget of the Czech Republic.

References

  1. Darwall S (2009) The second-person standpoint: morality, respect, and accountability. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Darwall S (2013) Honor, history, and relationship: essays in second-personal ethics Il. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Encarnacion E (2014) Reviving the assurance conception of promising. J Value Inq 48:107–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gilbert M (2013) Joint commitment: how we make the social world. Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  5. Heuer U (2012) Promising - part 2. Philos Compass 7:842–851.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-9991.2012.00523.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kolodny N (2010) Which relationships justify partiality? The case of parents and children. Philos Public Aff 38:37–75.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1088-4963.2009.01173.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. MacIntyre AC (1981) After virtue: a study in moral theory. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre DameGoogle Scholar
  8. Markovics D (2011) Promises as an Arm’s-lengt relation. In: Sheinman H (ed) Promises and agreements - philosophical essays. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Owens D (2006) A simple theory of promising. Philos Rev 115:51–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Owens D (2008) Promising without intending. J Philos 105:737–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Raz J (1982) Promises in morality and law. Harv Law Rev 95:916–938.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1340782 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Scanlon T (1998) What we owe to each other. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  13. Shiffrin SV (2008) Promising, intimate relationships, and conventionalism. Philos Rev 117:481–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Taylor C (1992) The ethics of authenticity. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  15. Taylor E (2013) A new conventionalist theory of promising. Australas J Philos 91:667–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Watson G (2004) Asserting and promising. Philos Stud 117:57–77.  https://doi.org/10.1023/B:PHIL.0000014525.93335.9e CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for EthicsUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations