Our universe is both chaotic and (most likely) infinite in space and time. But it is within this setting that we must make moral decisions. This presents problems. The first: due to our universe's chaotic nature, our actions often have long-lasting, unpredictable effects; and this means we typically cannot say which of two actions will turn out best in the long run. The second problem: due to the universe's infinite dimensions, and infinite population therein, we cannot compare outcomes by simply (...) adding up their total moral values - those totals will typically be infinite or undefined. Each of these problems poses a threat to aggregative moral theories. But, for each, we have solutions: a proposal from Greaves let us overcome the problem of chaos, and proposals from the infinite aggregation literature let us overcome the problem of infinite value. But a further problem emerges. If our universe is both chaotic and infinite, those solutions no longer work - outcomes that are infinite and differ by chaotic effects are incomparable, even by those proposals. In this paper, I show that we can overcome this further problem. But, to do so, we must accept some peculiar implications about how aggregation works. (shrink)
Human values seem to vary across time and space. What implications does this have for the future of human value? Will our human and (perhaps) post-human offspring have very different values from our own? Can we study the future of human values in an insightful and systematic way? This article makes three contributions to the debate about the future of human values. First, it argues that the systematic study of future values is both necessary in and of itself and an (...) important complement to other future-oriented inquiries. Second, it sets out a methodology and a set of methods for undertaking this study. Third, it gives a practical illustration of what this ‘axiological futurism’ might look like by developing a model of the axiological possibility space that humans are likely to navigate over the coming decades. (shrink)
A person possesses value from various components of wellbeing, but they also have overall wellbeing from various instances of value taken together. Most ethicists assume that there is an objectively unique way that wellbeing from components aggregates into overall wellbeing. However, I argue that aggregation is subjective and varies depending on what sort of aggregation a person values. I end with some implications for the significance of death.
This chapter surveys work in meta-ethics in the past fifty years which explicitly deals with issues associated with evil. It discusses two examples from secular discussions: the argument developed by Gilbert Harman on the explanatory role of moral facts, and the argument developed by Gilbert Harman and John Doris on the empirical inadequacy of the virtues. The chapter then turns to two topics related to theistic meta-ethics: the problem of evil and moral realism, and theological voluntarism and evil.
In 1998, Robert Boostrom wrote that ‘safe-space’ was an emerging metaphor in educational discourse but was not yet a ‘topic of educational inquiry’ (p.398). Whilst there has been a great amount of work since then exploring the topic (for example, Holley and Steiner; Stengel; The Roestone Collective and Callan), a lack of clarity still clouds the debate around the place of safe spaces in the classroom. In this paper, I address this lack of clarity by addressing the fundamental question: what (...) does it mean for a classroom to be safe? I do so by considering the variety of meanings which have been ascribed to ’safety’ in educational contexts in light of the purpose for which the concept is used. I’ll defend a particular refinement of the concept – what I call an ’objective approach to safety’ - on the grounds that it most effectively captures the conditions we value, and can appropriately describe as safety, in the classroom. (shrink)
While investigating the value of achievements, Dunkle claims that lucky achievements are possible. For instance, if a person does great works, then it is possible that the works have the status of achievements, even if luck plays a crucial role in doing the great works. Rather than examining Dunkle’s claim, this paper proceeds discussion under the assumption that lucky achievements are possible. In particular, based on this assumption, this paper suggests a new approach to the nature of achievement named the (...) Comparative Value Approach. According to the comparative value approach, a product can have the status of an achievement if the product is valuable in an achievement-relevant domain, and in that domain the product is valuable more than most other items which either have been achieved or can be achieved by others. This paper shows that the comparative value approach successfully explains the cases of achievements, including the cases of lucky achievements. Besides this reason, this paper provides three more reasons to show that the comparative value approach is a feasible view of achievements. The comparative value approach can accommodate the fact that there are various kinds of achievements; the approach can explain the relation between the nature of achievement and the achievement-value of a product; and the approach can show why in determining the status of a product it matters that for average people achieving a similar kind of product is sufficiently difficult. Based on these four reasons, this paper concludes that the comparative value approach is a plausible understanding of achievements. (shrink)
The essay contributes to the philosophical literature on emotions by advancing a detailed analysis of jadedness and by investigating whether jadedness can be subject to the various standards that are often thought to apply to our emotional states. The essay argues that jadedness is the affective experience of weariness, lack of care, and mild disdain with some object, and that it crucially involves the realisation that such an object was previously, but is no longer, significant to us. On the basis (...) of such a characterisation, jadedness is shown to be an affective call to restructure our commitments and values in a manner that we no longer assign any kind of significance to its object. Precisely because of its potential to affect our lives in such a fashion, jadedness is shown to carry philosophical, psychological, and even social importance. -/- . (shrink)
It is widely thought that we have good reason to try to be important. Being important or doing significant things is supposed to add value to our lives. In particular, it is supposed to make our lives exceptionally meaningful. This essay develops an alternative view. After exploring what importance is and how it might relate to meaning in life, a series of cases are presented to validate the perspective that being important adds no meaning to our lives. The meaningful life (...) does need valuable projects, activities, and relationships. But no added meaning is secured by those projects, activities, and relationships being especially significant. The extraordinary life has no more meaning than the ordinary life. (shrink)
Im März 2020 änderte sich das Leben für viele (nicht nur in Deutschland) radikal. Das Virus SARS-CoV-2, besser bekannt als „COVID-19-“ oder „Corona-Virus“, breitete sich als Verursacher einer zwischenzeitlich global virulenten Pandemie in unvermuteter Geschwindigkeit aus. Es verwundert nicht, dass viele in dieser unsicheren Zeit auf der Suche nach Orientierung nach scheinbar bekannten Mustern fahnden. Ein solches Muster glaubten offenbar einige, in Camus’ Roman "Die Pest" finden zu können, ein Roman, der – dem Titel nach – auch von einer Seuche (...) zu erzählen scheint. Befasst man sich mit dem Werk von Albert Camus, dem Philosophen und Literaturnobelpreisträger, kommt man schwerlich umhin, eines der Grundprobleme der Philosophie als einer akademischen Disziplin zu thematisieren, an der zweifelsohne ein öffentliches Interesse besteht, die sich aber in der Rolle des Um-Rat-Gefragten notorisch unwohl zu fühlen scheint. In diesem Beitrag werden die Thesen Albert Camus’ zur Relevanz der Kunst, zu deren Spannungsverhältnis zur akademischen Philosophie und zur Rolle beider in unserer krisengeschüttelten Gesellschaft untersucht. (shrink)
Ronald de Sousa has vindicated the importance of emotions in our lives. This transpires clearly through his emphasis on “emotional truth”. Like true beliefs, emotions can reflect the evaluative landscape and be true to ourselves. This article develops his insights on emotional truth by exploring the analogous phenomenon regarding desire: “desiderative truth”. According to the dominant view championed by de Sousa, goodness is the formal object of desire: a desire is fitting when its content is good. Desiderative truth is evaluative. (...) I propose an alternative, deontic approach: a desire is accurate when its content ought to be. I contrast these two accounts by examining one type of flawed desire that has eluded philosophers’ attention: caprice. Capricious desires – as the desires expressed in children’s tantrums – are fascinating yet unfitting. What is wrong with them? I argue that evaluative truth fails to explain their inadequacy. Surprisingly, capricious desires can be about good states; in fact, this is often where the culprit lies: the object of desire is too good to be worth desiring. By contrast, the deontic account nicely captures what goes wrong with capricious desires. Although they can be good, the states desired are not such that they ought to be for one to be happy. Capricious people are too demanding and misunderstand the boundaries of happiness. As the flaw in caprice is deontic, desiderative truth is deontic truth. (shrink)
Phenomenal consciousness appears to be particularly normatively significant. For this reason, sentience-based conceptions of ethics are widespread. In the field of animal ethics, knowing which animals are sentient appears to be essential to decide the moral status of these animals. I argue that, given that materialism is true of the mind, phenomenal consciousness is probably not particularly normatively significant. We should face up to this probable insignificance of phenomenal consciousness and move towards an ethic without sentience.
Dieser Beitrag präsentiert sechs Menschenbilder, die in Diskussionen über existenzielles Risiko vorkommen. Er beginnt damit, Sorgen über das existenzielle Risiko in eine historische Perspektive zu setzen. Danach stehen vor allem Menschenbilder im Fokus, die bei der Frage, warum das längerfristige Überleben der Menschheit wichtig ist, eine Rolle spielen.
In this commentary on Elpidorou‘s book, I first note a certain arbitrariness in his choice, for his purpose of showing the bright side of negative emotions, of boredom, frustration, and anticipation. Many other emotions carry negative valence and might be said to be useful in motivating us to avoid or escape them. I then focus on boredom, and consider four candidates for the role of its formal object. All four turn out to be problematic. I then consider the moral and (...) prudential value of boredom, and conclude that if boredom is to be attributed some sort of intrinsic value, it is more likely to derive it from its complex role in aesthetic experience. (shrink)
A central debate in the philosophy of love is whether people can love one another for good reasons. Reasons for love seem to help us sympathetically understand and evaluate love or even count as loving at all. But it can seem that if reasons for love existed, they could require forms of love that are presumably illicit. It might seem that only some form of wishful thinking would lead us to believe reasons for love could never do this. However, if (...) we focus on why reasons for love as such motivate us to love, we find evidence that reasons for love as such do not require or even justify it: all they do is favor it. This result is fine, however, since love never stands in need of justification. We would think otherwise only if we somehow conflate reasons and justifications, or value and permissibility. We must give up such background assumptions if we are to appreciate reasons for love. (shrink)
A standard reaction to the problem of evil is to look for a greater good that can explain why God (with the traditional attributes) might have created this world instead of a seemingly better one which has no (or less) evil. This paper proposes an approach we call the Moral Progress Approach: Given the value of progress, a non-perfect world containing evil may be preferable to a perfect world without evil. This makes room for the possibility that this world, with (...) all its evil, may be preferable to a world with less evil. We argue that our proposal is different from apparently similar views such as soul-making theodicy. (shrink)
According to Realism about Epistemic Value, there is such a thing as epistemic value and it is appropriate to evaluate things—e.g., beliefs—for epistemic value because there is such a thing as epistemic value. Allan Hazlett's A Luxury of the Understanding is a sustained critique of Realism. Hazlett challenges proponent of Realism to answer explanatory questions while not justifiably violating certain constraints, including two proposed naturalistic constraints. Hazlett argues they cannot. Here I defend Realism. I argue that it is easy for (...) proponents of Realism to answer Hazlett's explanatory questions. The interesting issue is whether those answers violate Hazlett's naturalistic constraints. My own view is that epistemic value is irreducible to natural properties; it thus violates Hazlett's proposed constraints. I argue that this is justifiable because Hazlett fails to convincingly motivate his naturalistic constraints and there is reason for thinking epistemic value is irreducible to natural properties anyway. (shrink)
Hilary Putnam spent much of his career criticizing the fact/value dichotomy, and this became apparent already during the phase when he defended internal realism. He later changed his epistemological and metaphysical view by endorsing natural realism, with the consequence of embracing alethic pluralism, the idea that truth works differently in various discourse domains. Despite these changes of mind in epistemology and in theory of truth, Putnam went on criticizing the fact/value dichotomy. However, alethic pluralism entails drawing distinctions among discourse domains, (...) especially between factual and nonfactual domains, and these distinctions are in tension with the rejection of the fact/value dichotomy, as this would in principle hinder factual domains as genuine. This issue raises, prima facie, some doubts about the effective compatibility of these views. (shrink)
A tradição filosófica das abordagens da moral tem predominantemente como base conceitos e teorias metafísicas e teológicas. Entre os conceitos tradicionais de ética, o mais proeminente é a Teoria do Comando Divino (TCD). De acordo com a TCD, Deus dá fundamentos morais à humanidade desde sua criação e por meio de revelações. Assim, moralidade e divindade seriam inseparáveis desde a civilização mais remota. Esses conceitos submergem em uma estrutura teológica e são principalmente aceitos pela maioria dos seguidores das três tradições (...) Abraâmicas: judaísmo, cristianismo e islamismo, abrangendo a parte mais considerável da população humana. Mantendo a fé e a Revelação como seus fundamentos, as Teorias do Comando Divino não estão estritamente sujeitas a qualquer tipo de demonstração. Os oponentes da concepção moral do Comando Divino, fundamentados na impossibilidade de demonstrar suas suposições metafísicas e religiosas, tentam há muitos séculos (embora sem sucesso) desvalorizar sua importância. Eles sustentam o argumento de que a teoria não mostra evidências materiais e coerência lógica e, por esse motivo, não pode ser levada em consideração para fins científicos ou filosóficos. É apenas uma crença e, como tal, deve ser entendida. Além dessas oposições extremas, muitos outros conceitos atacam as teorias do Comando Divino, de uma ou de outra maneira, em parte ou na totalidade. Muitos filósofos e cientistas sociais, da clássica filosofia grega até a presente data, por exemplo, sustentam que a moralidade é apenas uma construção e, portanto, culturalmente relativa e culturalmente determinada. No entanto, isso traz muitas outras discussões e impõe o desafio de determinar qual é o significado da cultura, quais elementos da cultura são moralmente determinantes e, finalmente, quais são os limites dessa relatividade. Os deterministas morais, por sua vez, afirmam que tudo relacionado ao comportamento humano, incluindo a moralidade, é determinado em suas causas, uma vez que o livre-arbítrio não existe. Mais recentemente, os pensadores modernos argumentaram que existe uma rigorosa ciência da moralidade. No entanto, o método científico por si só, apesar de explicar vários fatos e evidências, não pode esclarecer todo o conteúdo e todo o significado da ética. A compreensão moral exige uma percepção mais ampla e um acordo entre os filósofos, que eles nunca alcançaram. Todas essas perguntas têm muitas configurações diferentes, dependendo de cada linha filosófica, e iniciam análises complexas e debates intermináveis, uma vez que muitas delas são reciprocamente conflitantes. O universo e a atmosfera envolvendo esta estudo são os domínios de todos esses conflitos conceptuais, observados de um ponto de vista objetivo e evolutivo. Independentemente dessa circunstância e de sua importância intrínseca, essas questões estão muito distantes da abordagem metodológica de uma discussão analítica sobre a moral objetiva, a qual é, de fato, o objetivo e o escopo deste trabalho. Devemos revisitar brevemente essas importantes teorias tradicionais, porque esta pesquisa abriga um estudo comparativo, e suas suposições pelo menos diferem profundamente de todas as teorias tradicionais. Portanto, torna-se necessário oferecer ao leitor, neste texto, elementos diretos e específicos de comparação para críticas válidas, dispensando pesquisas interruptivas. No entanto, mesmo revisitando as teorias tradicionais, para esse objetivo de exposição comparativa e crítica, elas serão mantidas ao lado de nossas principais preocupações, como " aliena materia ". Independentemente da validade de qualquer um ou de todos os elementos dessa discussão e de seu significado como universo filosófico deste trabalho, o objetivo do nosso estudo é demonstrar e justificar a existência e o significado de arquétipos morais pré-históricos surgidos diretamente dos princípios fundamentais, necessidades sociais e esforços para a sobrevivência. Esses arquétipos são a definição do fundamento essencial da ética, sua agregação ao inconsciente coletivo e organização lógica correspondente e transmissão aos estágios evolutivos do genoma humano e às diferentes relações espaço-tempo, independentemente de qualquer experiência contemporânea dos indivíduos. O sistema definido por esses arquétipos compõe um modelo social humano evolutivo. Esta é uma posição metaética? Sim, ela é. Além disso, como em qualquer raciocínio metaético, devemos procurar cuidadosamente as melhores e coerentes rotas, como a Filosofia Analítica lhes oferece. Desta forma, este trabalho deve demonstrar razoavelmente que a moral não é um produto cultural dos homens civilizados ou das sociedades modernas e que, apesar de estar sujeito a várias agregações e subtrações culturais relativas, seus fundamentos essenciais são arquetípicos e nunca mudaram estruturalmente. Esse raciocínio induz que a moralidade é um atributo primal do "homo sapiens"; não é uma propriedade e nem um acidente: integra a essência humana e pertence ao reino da identidade ontológica humana. -/- O fenômeno humano é um processo contínuo, desempenhando seu papel entre determinação aleatória e livre-arbítrio, e precisamos questionar como a moralidade começou e como chegou a nós no presente. (shrink)
This paper concerns regret, where regretting is to be understood, roughly, as mourning the loss of a forgone good. My ultimate aim is to add a new dimension to existing debate concerning the internal logic of regret by revealing the significance of certain sorts of cases—including, most interestingly, certain down-to-earth cases involving vague goals—in relation to the possibility of regret in continued endorsement cases. Intuitively, it might seem like, in continued endorsement cases, an agent’s regret must be tied to the (...) idea that the forgone good is no better than the achieved good but is also not fully made up for by the achieved good because the goods are different in kind. But this view is controversial. After describing a challenge to the view, as well as the main features of the debate regarding regret in which it figures, I appeal first to a fanciful case involving a set of ever-better options, and then to a more down-to-earth case involving a vague goal, to develop a defense of the opposing view that, even in continued endorsement cases, mourning the loss of a forgone good need not be tied to the idea that the loss of the good is not fully made up for by the gain of a preferred or incomparable good of a different kind. (shrink)
Formula One isn’t very important. You can't care about it too much. The refugee crisis is more important. You can care about it much more. In this paper we investigate how important something is. By ‘importance’ we mean how much it is fitting to care about a thing. We explore a view about this which we call Proportionalism. This view says that a thing’s importance depends on that thing’s share of the world’s total value. The more of what matters there (...) is, the less you can care about each thing in particular. The less of what matters there is, the more you can care about each thing in particular. We argue that, in many respects, Proportionalism is superior to its competitors. It captures some intuitions they leave out and it has a powerful motivation. So, we suggest, you should keep things in proportion. (shrink)
In this paper, I will connect some of the philosophical research on non-doxastic accounts of faith to some psychological research on grit. In doing so I hope to advance the debate on both the nature and value of faith by connecting some philosophical insights with some empirical grounding. In particular, I will use Duckworth’s research to show that seeing faith as grit both captures the philosophical motivations for non-doxastic accounts of faith and comes with empirical backing that such faith is (...) voluntary and can be both valuable and rational. (shrink)
Interest in the nature and importance of ‘childhood goods’ recently has emerged within philosophy. Childhood goods, roughly, are things that are good for persons qua children independent of any contribution to the good of persons qua adults. According to Colin Macleod, John Rawls’s political conception of justice as fairness rests upon an adult-centered ‘agency assumption’ and thus is incapable of incorporating childhood goods into its content. Macleod concludes that because of this, justice as fairness cannot be regarded as a complete (...) conception of distributive justice. In this paper I provide a political liberal response to Macleod’s argument by advancing three claims. First, I propose that political liberalism should treat leisure time as a distinct ‘primary good.’ Second, I suggest that leisure time should be distributed via the ‘basic needs principle’ and the ‘difference principle’ for all citizens over the course of their complete lives, including their childhoods. Third, the provision of leisure time in this way supports the realization of childhood goods for citizens. (shrink)
We defend a fitting-attitude theory of the funny against a set of potential objections. Ultimately, we endorse a version of FA theory that treats reasons for amusement as non-compelling, metaphysically non-conditional, and alterable by social features of the joke telling context. We find that this version of FA theory is well-suited to accommodate our ordinary practices of telling and being amused by jokes, and helpfully bears on the related faultless disagreement dispute.
We support the development of non-reductive cognitive science and the naturalization of phenomenology for this purpose, and we agree that the ‘relational turn’ defended by Gallagher is a necessary step in this direction. However, we believe that certain aspects of his relational concept of nature need clarification. In particular, Gallagher does not say whether or how teleology, affect, and other value-related properties of life and mind can be naturalized within this framework. In this paper, we argue that (1) given the (...) phenomenological standards recognized by Gallagher, his commitment to a naturalized phenomenology should entail a commitment to a naturalized concept of value; and (2) the kind of ‘relational nature’ described by Gallagher in his paper is insufficient for this purpose. (shrink)
The article presents the results of a theoretical and empirical study of the process of development of the axiological identity of a future psychologist in the process of his/her professional training in a higher educational institution. The article substantiates the necessity to use the technology of forming the axiological identity of a future psychologist in the process of professional training as a structural component of his/her integral professional value. The axiological identity of a future psychologist is characterized by the integration (...) of personal, professional, and social identities at the level of his/her valuable self-consciousness. The formation of this construct depends on the understanding of its own system of values, understanding of abilities, desires, and capabilities, allows the future psychologist to purposefully build prospects for professional growth, implement informed and responsible choices backed by a sense of integrative integrity, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency. -/- While choosing the direction of the professional activity, a student designs the axiological perspectives of his/her own professional identity, that is, it gives the dominance to the personal, professional, and social values that most closely reflect his/her personal meanings in the professional activity corresponding to preferences and promote self-realization in the future. Difficulties in the vocational education and further professional activity arise under the condition of axiological identification uncertainty, a low level of self-interest and self-understanding, external motivation to the student’s professional activities, etc. Taking into account the above, we have developed and implemented in the process of professional training of students of psychology the technology of “Formation of the axiological identity of a future psychologist”, whose purpose is to support future specialists in the process of becoming a personal, professional, and social value identity on the basis of the student’s awareness of the value of personal “I” as a psychologist and confidence in their own desire and ability to provide psychological help to the Other. (shrink)
Here I consider the two most venerated arguments about the existence of God: the Ontological Argument and the Argument from Evil. The Ontological Argument purports to show that God’s nature guarantees that God exists. The Argument from Evil purports to show that God’s nature, combined with some plausible facts about the way the world is, guarantees (or is very compelling grounds for thinking) that God does not exist. Obviously, both arguments cannot be sound. But I argue here that they are (...) both unsound for the very same reason. (shrink)
This article considers the question ‘What makes hope rational?’ We take Adrienne Martin’s recent incorporation analysis of hope as representative of a tradition that views the rationality of hope as a matter of instrumental reasons. Against this tradition, we argue that an important subset of hope, ‘fundamental hope’, is not governed by instrumental rationality. Rather, people have reason to endorse or reject such hope in virtue of the contribution of the relevant attitudes to the integrity of their practical identity, which (...) makes the relevant hope not instrumentally but intrinsically valuable. This argument also allows for a new analysis of the reasons people have to abandon hope and for a better understanding of non-fundamental, ‘prosaic’ hopes. (shrink)
According to subjectivist views about a meaningful life, one's life is meaningful in virtue of desire satisfaction or feelings of fulfilment. Standard counterexamples consist of satisfaction found through trivial or immoral tasks. In response to such examples, many philosophers require that the tasks one is devoted to are objectively valuable, or have objectively valuable consequences. I argue that the counterexamples to subjectivism do not require objective value for meaning in life. I also consider other reasons for thinking that meaning in (...) life requires objective value and raise doubts about their strength. Finally, I argue that beauty is not plausibly objective, but that it seems important for meaning. This puts pressure on the objectivist to explain why objectivity matters in the case of other values. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Barry Allen’s non-adaptive theory of knowledge as introduced in Knowledge and Civilization fails to assign a proper value to knowledge. In defending this view, I first briefly spell out Allen’s evolutionary standpoint by contrasting it with classical pragmatism’s adaptive perspective and then contend that his view is ultimately unable to offer a practical reason for the preferability of knowledge from the standpoint of actual cognitive agents.
Hili Razinsky, free downlad at link. ABSTRACT: Emotional perceptions are objectivist (objectivity-directed or cognitive) and conscious, both attributes suggesting they cannot be ambivalent. Yet perceptions, including emotional perceptions of value, allow for strictly objectivist ambivalence in which a person unitarily perceives the object in mutually undermining ways. Emotional perceptions became an explicandum of emotion for philosophers who are sensitive to the unique conscious character of emotion, impressed by the objectivist character of perceptions, and believe that the perceptual account solves a (...) worry about the possibility of a conflict between an emotion and a judgement. Back into the 1980s Greenspan has argued that emotional ambivalence is possible, her reasons implying that objectivist accounts of emotion are inconsistent with ambivalence. Tappolet has more recently replied that perceptual accounts allow for emotional ambivalence since the opposed values seen in ambivalence are good or bad in different senses. The present paper identifies strict objectivist ambivalence between judgements and between emotional perceptions by contrasting them with such ambivalence of separate values such as evoked by Tappolet. (shrink)
Ralph Wedgwood gives a general account of what it is for states of mind and processes of thought to count as rational. Whether you are thinking rationally depends purely on what is going on in your mind, but rational thinking is a means to the goal of getting things right in your thinking, by believing the truth or making good choices.
“Bioconservatives” in the human enhancement debate endorse the conservative claim that we should reject the use of biotechnologies that enhance natural human capacities. However, they often ground their objections to enhancement with contestable claims about human nature that are also in tension with other common tenets of conservatism. We argue that bioconservatives could raise a more plausible objection to enhancement by invoking a strain of conservative thought developed by G.A. Cohen. Although Cohen’s conservatism is not sufficient to fully revive the (...) bioconservative objection, we argue that it can be supplemented by an account of reasonable partiality for humanity in a way that provides further support to the bioconservative position in a manner congruous with broader conservatism. We propose that the idea of partiality to humanity can buttress the bioconservative objection into its strongest possible form. However, we conclude by arguing that, even in this form, the objection cannot do all the work that bioconservatives expect of it. (shrink)
Nietzsche associates values with affects and drives: he not only claims that values are explained by drives and affects, but sometimes appears to identify values with drives and affects. This is decidedly odd: the agent's reflectively endorsed ends, principles, commitments--what we would think of as the agent's values--seem not only distinct from, but often in conflict with, the agent's drives. Consequently, it is unclear how we should understand Nietzsche's concept of value. This essay attempts to dispel these puzzles by reconstructing (...) Nietzsche's account of value. According to the view that I defend, an agent values X iff (i) the agent has a drive-induced affective orientation toward X and (ii) the agent does not disapprove of this affective orientation. Additionally, I argue that drives generate thoughts about justification, thereby inclining the agent to regard pursuit of the drive's aim as valuable. I contend that this interpretation makes sense of Nietzsche’s remarks about value and overcomes the difficulties inherent in competing interpretations. I conclude by investigating the recalcitrance of drive-induced affective orientations. (shrink)
There are many reasons to behave immorally, but, so it seems, very few reasons to behave morally. In this short work, it is shown that all genuinely self-interested behavior embodies a certain morality. It is also shown that no viable ethical system requires its adherents to deny their self-interest.
Philosophers theorizing about ‘evil’ usually distinguish evil actions from acts of ordinary wrongdoing. They either attempt to isolate some quality or set of qualities shared by all evil actions that is not found in other wrongful actions, or they concede that their account of evil is only distinguished by capturing the very worst acts on the scale of moral wrongness. The idea that evil is qualitatively distinct from wrongdoing has recently been under contention. We explore the grounds for this contention, (...) and argue that there is a third option that might be useful for a variety of philosophical accounts of evil. The alternate form of distinctness we propose is called quality of emphasis distinctness. We illustrate this form of concept distinctness with a modified version of Hillel Steiner’s account of evil. We then explain how QE distinctness could also be applied to more complex theories of evil, such as the theories proposed by Claudia Card, John Kekes, and Todd Calder. (shrink)
According to Fitting Attitude theorists, for something to possess a certain value it is necessary and sufficient that it be fitting (appropriate, or good, or obligatory, or something) to take a certain attitude to the bearer of that value. The idea seems obvious for thick evaluative attributes, but less obvious for the thin evaluative attributes—like goodness, betterness, and degrees of value. This paper is an extended argument for the thesis that the fitting response to the thin evaluative attributes of states (...) is desire, broadly construed. The good is what it is fitting to desire, the bad what it is fitting to be averse to, and the better what it is fitting to prefer. I start with two prominent challenges to the FA schema (Wrong Kinds of Reasons and Solitary Goods). For the FA schema to survive these challenges—along with some developments of them—the fitting response to the goodness of a state has to be a non-factive, non-doxastic representation of the state as good—in other words, an appearance of the goodness that state. That desires and preferences are non-doxastic value appearances is independently attractive, and I argue that this is in fact the simplest hypothesis compatible with the Fitting Attitude approach.Fitting Attitudes. (shrink)
Many including Judith Jarvis Thomson, Philippa Foot, Peter Geach, Richard Kraut, and Paul Ziff have argued for good simpliciter skepticism. According to good simpliciter skepticism, we should hold that there is no concept of being good simpliciter or that there is no property of being good simpliciter. I first show that prima facie we should not accept either form of good simpliciter skepticism. I then show that all of the arguments that good simpliciter skeptics have proposed for their view fail (...) to show that we have good reason to accept good simpliciter skepticism. So, I show that we do not have good reason to accept good simpliciter skepticism. (shrink)
My contributions to the research on epistemic value can be divided into two parts: first, I pinpoint some causes of the problems about epistemic value which have not previously been identified; and, second, I offer novel accounts of epistemic value which offer better solutions to the problems about epistemic value. First, there are two trends in the literature on epistemic value that are rarely challenged: epistemologists tend to understand epistemic value in terms of intrinsic value from the epistemic point of (...) view, and the discussion of epistemic value tends to focus only on the values of properties of belief. I argue that both trends should be rejected if we want to solve several persistent problems about epistemic value: the value problems about knowledge, the teleological account of epistemic normativity, and the triviality objection that some true beliefs are too trivial to be epistemic goals. My account of epistemic value is in terms of goodness of epistemic kinds, which rejects. An epistemic kind is an evaluative kind—a kind that determines its own evaluative standards—whose evaluative standards are truth-directed: e.g. a belief is good qua belief if true. I argue that my account is immune from the triviality objection. Moreover, since the goodness of an epistemic kind is finally valuable, the account gives us simple solutions to the value problems of knowledge. I develop my own solutions through critically appropriating the virtue-theoretic account, according to which epistemic evaluation is a kind of performance evaluation, which rejects. I argue that the value of knowledge consists of the value of epistemic success and epistemic competence. Finally, I argue that approaches that focus on the evaluation of belief cannot explain epistemic normativity. Instead, we need an approach that focuses on the evaluation of person, which rejects. I argue that conforming to epistemic norms is part of what makes us good qua person. The goodness of person qua person is an intrinsic value and able to provide pro tanto reasons for a person to be epistemically good qua person, which is the ground of epistemic normativity. Overall, there are two main differences between my account and the mainstream account: first, the purpose of epistemic evaluation is about good cognitive performances rather than good beliefs; and, second, what grounds epistemic normativity is the goodness of a person qua person rather than the goodness of belief qua belief. The upshot of my account is that the focus of epistemology should be on questions such as ‘What is an epistemically good person?’ and ‘What makes a person epistemically good qua person?’ Furthermore, my account shows that epistemic normativity is not distinct from ethical normativity. That is, the question ‘What is an epistemically good person?’ is part of the question ‘What is a good person?’ and a reason why we should be an epistemically good person is consequently a reason why we should be a good person. (shrink)
John Broome claims that there is a sacrifice-free solution to climate change. He says this is a consequence of elementary economics. After explaining the economic argument in somewhat more detail than Broome, I show that the argument is unsound. A main problem with it stems from Derek Parfit's ‘nonidentity effect.’ But there is hope, since the nonidentity effect underwrites a more philosophical yet more plausible route to a sacrifice-free solution. So in the end I join Broome in asking economists and (...) policymakers to help make this a reality. (shrink)
Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
The paper presents main conceptual distinctions underlying much of modern philosophical thinking about value. The introductory Section 1 is followed in Section 2 by an outline of the contrast between non-relational value and relational value. In Section 3, the focus is on the distinction between final and non-final value as well as on different kinds of final value. In Section 4, we consider value relations, such as being better/worse/equally good/on a par. Recent discussions suggest that we might need to considerably (...) extend traditional taxonomies of value relations. (shrink)
In the article, a value as the universal anthropological phenomenon acting as the constituting basis and the integrative beginning of human being as conscious and motivated subject activity is studied. The following aspects of the phenomenon were analyzed: ratios of value and valuation, object and subject determination of value, fundamental anthropological characteristics of value as constituting factors of human being and its attributes, value structure as subject and object relation, problem of a ratio of values and human requirements. It agrees (...) with the offered semantic understanding of value are thought by the center of all semantic definiteness of human being as subject valuable relation to reality. The axiology as the philosophical theory of value is thought of the center of a philosophical and anthropological perspective, in which the essence and specifics of human being reveals. (shrink)
The essays in this book offer an in-depth exploration of value theory. Portions examine the theoretical foundations of values and valuation exploring the rational groundwork for judgments. Other aspects, appealing to value distinctions of inherent, intrinsic, and instrumental, bring to light matters of aesthetic, social political, ethical, and ontological issues.