Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):45-63 (2021)

Following Moore, value invariabilists deny that the intrinsic value of something can be affected by features extrinsic to it. The primary focuses of this paper are to examine the invariabilistic thesis and expand upon how we ought to understand it, in light of contemporary axiological distinctions, and to argue that distinguishing between different kinds of invariabilism provides resources to undermine a prominent argument against variabilism. First, I use two contemporary axiological distinctions to clarify what kind of value the invariabilism debate concerns. Then I show how the distinction between personal value and value simpliciter reveals different variabilistic theses, depending on what type of final value one thinks may be affected by extrinsic features. Using this insight, I challenge an argument for final value simpliciter invariabilism. Variabilists offer the example of the vicious being pleased as a counterexample to the claim that pleasure’s final value is invariant to contextual changes. The argument that I examine purports to show that this case actually supports invariabilism about pleasure’s final value simpliciter, because the best explanation for why the vicious being pleased is a fitting object of indignation is that the vicious person’s pleasure is finally valuable simpliciter. I argue that this argument fails because the vicious person’s pleasure being finally personally good for them better explains why an attitude of indignation is fitting. I address two objections and conclude with remarks about how my results might inform future research on value invariabilism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-020-10144-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,908
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 13 (3):7-9.

View all 58 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Welfare Invariabilism.Eden Lin - 2018 - Ethics 128 (2):320-345.
Rejecting Well-Being Invariabilism.Guy Fletcher - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (1):21-34.
Two Kinds of Holism About Values.Campbell Brown - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):456–463.
Holism About Value: Some Help for Invariabilists.Daniel Halliday - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1033-1046.
Intrinsic/Extrinsic.I. L. Humberstone - 1996 - Synthese 108 (2):205-267.
Beyond Distinctions.Swami Narasimhananda - 2008 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 113 (12):628-32.
Countability Distinctions and Semantic Variation.Amy Rose Deal - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (2):125-171.
Disciplinary Distinctions Before the “Two Cultures”.Ann Blair - 2008 - The European Legacy 13 (5):577-588.
Making Distinctions.Robert Sokolowski - 1979 - Review of Metaphysics 32 (4):639 - 676.
Time as Motion.Emiliano Boccardi - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):1-31.
On a Sufficient Condition for Hyperintensionality.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):336-354.
Brown and Moore's Value Invariabilism Vs Dancy's Variabilism.Guy Fletcher - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):162-168.


Added to PP index

Total views
21 ( #531,368 of 2,497,758 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #171,267 of 2,497,758 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes