Valuation by behaviour

Philosophical Explorations 13 (2):141-155 (2010)

Abstract

Valuation consists in a positive or negative response by a subject S to an entity X. Any positive or negative response has a structure that involves a cognitive and a non-cognitive component, as well as a reason relationship between these. This structure is shown to be present in the explicit value judgement 'Hans is a kraut', and then also pointed out in the reflex-like feeding behaviour of a frog, where S treats X as providing an affordance. The conclusion is that valuation need not involve mental states. The article ends with a discussion of the elusive question: what makes a response positive or negative?

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