Value Incomparability and Incommensurability

In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. Oxford University Press (2015)
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Abstract

This introductory article describes the phenomena of incommensurability and incomparability, how they are related, and why they are important. Since incomparability is the more significant phenomenon, the paper takes that as its focus. It gives a detailed account of what incomparability is, investigates the relation between the incomparability of values and the incomparability of alternatives for choice, distinguishes incomparability from the related phenomena of parity, indeterminacy, and noncomparability, and, finally, defends a view about practical justification that vindicates the importance of incomparability — assuming it exists — for practical reason.

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Ruth Chang
Oxford University

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mere formalities: fictional normativity and normative authority.Daniel Wodak - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):1-23.
Reasons, normativity, and value in aesthetics.Alex King - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 17 (1):1-17.
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View all 22 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1961 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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