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In perfectionist ethics, there are self-regarding duties -- that is, duties that prescribe responsibility to strive for excellence.

However, one particular passage in the linked text seems problematic when trying to assign values (right or wrong) to actions based on perfectionist principles:

The possibility of self-regarding duties of this kind are sometimes rejected on conceptual grounds. Moral duties concern one’s treatment of others, and so a moral duty to oneself is a confused notion. But this worry should not detain us for long. The key point is that we can have categorical reasons to develop our nature or to engage in valuable, as opposed to worthless, activities. It is a secondary issue whether we should classify a self-regarding duty as a moral duty or as (merely) a categorical non-moral duty (Raz 1994, 40). But while the worry should not detain us, it does point to an attractive feature of perfectionist ethics. Much contemporary moral theory ignores duties to oneself, whether understood as moral duties or not, and focuses exclusively on our duties toward others. Perfectionist ethics is an important corrective to this tendency. By expanding the domain of ethical concern, it has the potential to enrich contemporary moral philosophy (Hurka 1993, 5).

How is an agent to regard his/herself after violating self-regarding duties? Under perfectionist moral ethics, can a person who is outwardly kind, but who doesn't fulfill his/her self-regarding, non-moral duties call themselves "moral" or "good"? Should they call themselves immoral?

What does it mean to violate one's own self-directed, non-moral principles to strive toward excellence. Is purposely choosing mediocrity wrong under perfectionist ethics?

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    "Notions of right and wrong seem to concern how individuals treat one-another, but not whether they violate their own self-directed principles", why? Notions of right and wrong often concern adherence to some rules or values/principles, which are ultimately self-chosen (although one might argue for their objective origin). And these rules/values may concern treatment of anything, or not be about treatment at all (surrendering to God, avoiding temptations, being authentic, etc.). This is not even specific to perfectionism. So yes, one can be outwardly kind and have a dirty mind. – Conifold Apr 25 at 19:25
  • @Conifold That quote was based on the following passage from the linked text: "The possibility of self-regarding duties of this kind are sometimes rejected on conceptual grounds. Moral duties concern one’s treatment of others, and so a moral duty to oneself is a confused notion. But this worry should not detain us for long. The key point is that we can have categorical reasons to develop our nature or to engage in valuable, as opposed to worthless, activities. It is a secondary issue whether we should classify a self-regarding duty as a moral duty or as (merely) a categorical non-moral duty" – David Apr 25 at 19:36
  • @Conifold so my question is, supposing this distinction between self-regarding, non-moral duties and moral duties exists, how can we describe instances where we fall short of self-regarding duties? Is a failure to achieve excellence, according to perfectionism, a moral failing? – David Apr 25 at 19:39
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    Isn't it a part of perfectionism (as well as many other ethical positions) to reject this distinction, and count self-duties as moral? In other words, you seem to be asking what would perfectionists say if we assume a distinction they reject. To them it is a moral failing, to those who draw the distinction it might not be. But then they recognize non-moral ethical duties, and it is a failing on that front, so the difference is largely verbal in the end. Indeed, "this worry should not detain us for long". – Conifold Apr 25 at 19:46
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    There are, of course, some obvious differences, but then there are differences between different kinds of moral duties as well. Breaking a promise is different from swearing in front of kids, including the difference in consequences, and failing to conserve/protect nature also has consequences. So why should this difference make the difference between moral and non-moral? Perhaps, one could say that in perfectionism (as in most of ethics) personal failings are seen (mostly) as less damning than hurting others, and the word "immoral" is felt to be too strong to use, given typical connotation – Conifold Apr 25 at 21:19
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In perfectionist ethics, there are self-regarding duties -- that is, duties that prescribe responsibility to strive for excellence.

Excellence requires taking care of yourself. To the extent that you don't do this, you aren't able to do as well. (In the extreme, you die.)

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    Would you have sources from perfectionist ethics philosophers who take a similar view? This would strengthen your answer and give the reader a place to go for more information. Welcome. – Frank Hubeny Jun 2 at 2:05
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    This was meant as a statement of fact (in place of the abstract, which their source focuses on). On reflection, it doesn't answer the OP's question(s) "Is purposely choosing mediocrity wrong under perfectionist ethics?". – user558317 Jun 2 at 20:41

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