Philosophical Topics 32 (1&2):111-129 (2004)

Christopher Grau
Clemson University
This essay begins with a consideration of one way in which animals and persons may be valued as “irreplaceable.” Drawing on both Plato and Pascal, I consider reasons for skepticism regarding the legitimacy of this sort of attachment. While I do not offer a complete defense against such skepticism, I do show that worries here may be overblown due to the conflation of distinct metaphysical and normative concerns. I then go on to clarify what sort of value is at issue in cases of irreplaceable attachment. I characterize “unique value” as the kind of value attributed to a thing when we take that thing to be (theoretically, not just practically) irreplaceable. I then consider the relationship between this sort of value and intrinsic value. After considering the positions of Gowans, Moore, Korsgaard, Frankfurt, and others, I conclude that unique value is best understood not as a variety of intrinsic value but rather as one kind of final value that is grounded in the extrinsic properties of the object.
Keywords irreplaceability, intrinsic value, final value, unique value, love
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Reprint years 2006
ISBN(s) 0276-2080
DOI 10.5840/philtopics2004321/219
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References found in this work BETA

Two Distinctions in Goodness.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):169-195.
Human Beings.Mark Johnston - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (2):59-83.
Self-Interest and Interest in Selves.Susan Wolf - 1986 - Ethics 96 (July):704-20.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Amorality of Romantic Love.Arina Pismenny - 2021 - In Rachel Fedock, Michael Kühler & Raja Rosenhagen (eds.), Love, Justice, and Autonomy: Philosophical Perspectives. New York, NY, USA: pp. 23-42.
Love and History.Christopher Grau - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):246-271.
Normative Reasons for Love, Part II.Aaron Smuts - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):518-526.

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