Taking values seriously

Synthese 199 (3-4):6331-6356 (2021)
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Abstract

Recently, there has been a revival in taking empirical magnitudes seriously. Weights, heights, velocities and the like have been accepted as abstract entities in their own right rather than just equivalence classes of objects. The aim of my paper is to show that this revival should include value magnitudes. If we posit such magnitudes, important value comparisons can be easily explained; it becomes easier to satisfy the axioms for measurement of value; goodness, badness, and neutrality can be given univocal definitions; value aggregation can be given a non-mathematical understanding which allows for Moorean organic unities. Of course, this does not come for free. One has to accept a rich ontology of abstract value magnitudes, but, to quote David Lewis, ‘The price is right; the benefits in theoretical unity and economy are well worth the entities.’

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Krister Bykvist
Stockholm University

Citations of this work

Ethics without numbers.Jacob M. Nebel - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (2):289-319.
The Weight of Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2573-2596.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.

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