Should I Be Grateful to You for Not Harming Me?

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Getting people not to harm others is a central goal of morality. But while it is commonly perceived that those who benefit others merit gratitude, those who do not harm others are not ordinarily thought to merit anything. I attempt to argue against this, claiming that all the arguments against gratitude to the non-maleficent are unsuccessful. Finally, I explore the difference it would make if we thought that we owe gratitude to those who do not harm us.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-597
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Beneficence
  • Children
  • Common sense
  • Debt
  • Intuition
  • Morality
  • Phenomenology
  • Respect
  • Social interaction
  • Temptation


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