This book explores the value impact that theist and other worldviews have on our world and its inhabitants. Providing an extended defense of anti-theism - the view that God’s existence would (or does) actually make the world worse in certain respects - Lougheed explores God’s impact on a broad range of concepts including privacy, understanding, dignity, and sacrifice. The second half of the book is dedicated to the expansion of the current debate beyond monotheism and naturalism, providing an analysis of (...) the axiological status of other worldviews such as pantheism, ultimism, and Buddhism. -/- A lucid exploration of contemporary and relevant questions about the value impact of God’s existence, this book is an invaluable resource for scholars interested in axiological questions in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Human values seem to vary across time and space. What implications does this have for the future of human value? Will our human and (perhaps) post-human offspring have very different values from our own? Can we study the future of human values in an insightful and systematic way? This article makes three contributions to the debate about the future of human values. First, it argues that the systematic study of future values is both necessary in and of itself and an (...) important complement to other future-oriented inquiries. Second, it sets out a methodology and a set of methods for undertaking this study. Third, it gives a practical illustration of what this ‘axiological futurism’ might look like by developing a model of the axiological possibility space that humans are likely to navigate over the coming decades. (shrink)
Population axiology is the study of the conditions under which one state of affairs is better than another, when the states of affairs in ques- tion may differ over the numbers and the identities of the persons who ever live. Extant theories include totalism, averagism, variable value theories, critical level theories, and “person-affecting” theories. Each of these the- ories is open to objections that are at least prima facie serious. A series of impossibility theorems shows that this is no (...) coincidence: it can be proved, for various sets of prima facie intuitively compelling desiderata, that no axiology can simultaneously satisfy all the desiderata on the list. One’s choice of population axiology appears to be a choice of which intuition one is least unwilling to give up. (shrink)
Theism is the view that God exists; naturalism is the view that there are no supernatural beings, processes, mechanisms, or forces. This Element explores whether things are better, worse, or neither on theism relative to naturalism. It introduces readers to the central philosophical issues that bear on this question, and it distinguishes a wide range of ways it can be answered. It critically examines four views, three of which hold that things are better on theism than on naturalism, and one (...) of which holds just the opposite. (shrink)
Philosophers have recently wondered whether the value impact of the existence of God on the world would be positive, negative, or neutral. Thus far discussions have distinguished between the value God's impact would have overall, in certain respects, and/or for particular individuals. A commonality amongst the various positions that have been taken up is to focus on the goods and drawbacks associated with both theism and atheism. Goods associated with atheism include things like privacy, independence, and autonomy. I argue that (...) it is better overall and for everyone to prefer a hidden God to no God. This is because it is possible to experience many of the goods attributed to atheism if God is hidden even if they do not really obtain, while also gaining many of the additional goods connected to theism. This amounts to a new solution to the problem of divine hiddenness: God might hide in order to increase or maximize the axiological value of the world. (shrink)
I develop a new theodicy in defense of Anselmian theism, one that has several advantages over traditional and recent replies to the Problem of Evil. To make my case, I first explain the value of a positive trajectory: a forward-in-time decrease in ‘first-order-gratuitous’ evil: evil that is not necessary for any equal-or-greater first-order good, but may be necessary for a higher-order good, such as the good of strongly positive axiological trajectory. Positive trajectory arguably contributes goodness to a world in proportion (...) to the magnitude of this trajectory, and worlds that contain first-order-gratuitous evil thereby have the potential to contain a strongly positive trajectory. This would arguably explain why God would permit first-order-gratuitous evils: he may be indifferent between a world with no first-order-gratuitous evil and a world with some first-order-gratuitous evil but a strongly positive trajectory. Next, I answer the most salient objections to this theodicy. Finally, I explain how this theodicy is superior to some common theodicies. (shrink)
Critical-Range Utilitarianism is a variant of Total Utilitarianism which can avoid both the Repugnant Conclusion and the Sadistic Conclusion in population ethics. Yet Standard Critical-Range Utilitarianism entails the Weak Sadistic Conclusion, that is, it entails that each population consisting of lives at a bad well-being level is not worse than some population consisting of lives at a good well-being level. In this paper, I defend a version of Critical-Range Utilitarianism which does not entail the Weak Sadistic Conclusion. This is made (...) possible by a fourth category of absolute value in addition to goodness, badness, and neutrality. (shrink)
Consider the following claim: given the choice between saving a life and preventing any number of people from temporarily experiencing a mild headache, you should always save the life. Many moral theorists accept this claim. In doing so, they commit themselves to some form of ‘moral absolutism’: the view that there are some moral considerations that cannot be outweighed by any number of lesser moral considerations. In contexts of certainty, it is clear what moral absolutism requires of you. However, what (...) does it require of you when deciding under risk? What ought you to do when there is a chance that, say, you will not succeed in saving the life? In recent years, various critics have argued that moral absolutism cannot satisfactorily deal with risk and should, therefore, be abandoned. In this paper, we show that moral absolutism can answer its critics by drawing on—of all things—orthodox expected utility theory. (shrink)
This book features 20 essays that explore how Latin medieval philosophers and theologians from Anselm to Buridan conceived of habitus, as well as detailed studies of the use of the concept by Augustine and of the reception of the medieval doctrines of habitus in Suàrez and Descartes. Habitus are defined as stable dispositions to act or think in a certain way. This definition was passed down to the medieval thinkers from Aristotle and, to a lesser extent, Augustine, and played a (...) key role in many of the philosophical and theological developments of the time. Written by leading experts in medieval and modern philosophy, the book offers a historical overview that examines the topic in light of recent advances in medieval cognitive psychology and medieval moral theory. Coverage includes such topics as the metaphysics of the soul, the definition of virtue and vice, and the epistemology of self-knowledge. The book also contains an introduction that is the first attempt at a comprehensive survey of the nature and function of habitus in medieval thought. The material will appeal to a wide audience of historians of philosophy and contemporary philosophers. It is relevant as much to the historian of ancient philosophy who wants to track the historical reception of Aristotelian ideas as it is to historians of modern philosophy who would like to study the progressive disappearance of the term “habitus” in the early modern period and the concepts that were substituted for it. In addition, the volume will also be of interest to contemporary philosophers open to historical perspectives in order to renew current trends in cognitive psychology, virtue epistemology, and virtue ethics. (shrink)
Value is either additive or else it is subject to organic unity. In general we have organic unity where a complex whole is not simply the sum of its parts. Value exhibits organic unity if the value of a complex, whether a complex state or complex quality, is greater or less than the sum of the values of its components or parts. Whether or not value is additive might be thought to be of purely metaphysical interest, but it is also (...) connected with important aspects of evaluative reasoning. Additivity is closely connected with principles of bare difference and separability which are often tacitly assumed in value theory. The author spells out these principles and trace their connections with additivity and organic unity. The author then develops an unpleasant paradox of additivity. Additivity apparently entails nihilism: that nothing is more valuable than anything else. Additivity involves a kind of axiological atomism -- that complexes decompose into components or factors; that these factors possess value independently of their role in valuable complexes; and that the factors do not interact in their production of overall value. In order to avoid the paradox it seems as though the factors have to be akin to the metaphysically privileged states of logical atomism -- a doctrine that does not enjoy widespread support. The paradox poses a problem not only for the notions of organic unity and additivity, but also for the closely related bare-difference principles which lie at the heart of value theory and of its application. The author proposes a way of eliminating the paradox, and thereby saving additivity and separability, without presupposing an unpalatable variant of logical atomism. The author closes with the proposal to treat principles of additivity as regulative ideals in our search for intrinsic values. (shrink)
Purpose. The study seeks to clarify the preconditions for moral and legal decision-making based on the identification of axiological foundations that correlate with the moral perceptions of good and evil and psychological phenomena such as emotions. Theoretical basis of the study is to apply comparative, axiological, systemic methods. This methodological approach allows us to analyze and disclose the essence of the process of moral and legal decision-making on the basis of certain axiological prerequisites and enables to substantiate the connection between (...) the axiological and psychological aspects of taking moral and legal decisions. Originality of the work is to broaden the perceptions of the processes and mechanisms for making moral and legal decisions, which are based on the axiological dimension, in particular on the system of reference individual and social values. The study shows that every necessary moral and legal decision taken by a person is futurologically balanced in the emotional sense, rationally reasoned and morally perceptible in the context of man’s beliefs about good and evil, and realized with necessity in the personal system of reference values that determines the style and manner of individual and social behaviour in the context of material and spiritual values and is an axiological foundation for making all types of moral and legal decisions. Conclusions. Moral and legal decision-making is a social process that is connected with such a social essence of a person as rationality, which gives an opportunity to act axiologically. A person makes moral and legal decisions in a complex way, based on the unity of the moral, axiological and psychological aspects of his worldview, which are grounded on the system of reference values. (shrink)
This chapter defends an axiological theory of pain according to which pains are bodily episodes that are bad in some way. Section 1 introduces two standard assumptions about pain that the axiological theory constitutively rejects: (i) that pains are essentially tied to consciousness and (ii) that pains are not essentially tied to badness. Section 2 presents the axiological theory by contrast to these and provides a preliminary defense of it. Section 3 introduces the paradox of pain and argues that since (...) the axiological theory takes the location of pain at face value, it needs to grapple with the privacy, self-intimacy and incorrigibility of pain. Sections 4, 5 and 6 explain how the axiological theory may deal with each of these. (shrink)
Lyons’s (2003, 2018) axiological realism holds that science pursues true theories. I object that despite its name, it is a variant of scientific antirealism, and is susceptible to all the problems with scientific antirealism. Lyons (2003, 2018) also advances a variant of surrealism as an alternative to the realist explanation for success. I object that it does not give rise to understanding because it is an ad hoc explanans and because it gives a conditional explanation. Lyons might use axiological realism (...) to account for the success of a theory. I object that some alternative axiological explanations are better than the axiological realist explanation, and that the axiological realist explanation is teleological. Finally, I argue that Putnam’s realist position is more elegant than Lyons’s. (shrink)
Formal Axiology and Its Critics consists of two parts, both of which present criticisms of the formal theory of values developed by Robert S. Hartman, replies to these criticisms, plus a short introduction to formal axiology.Part I consists of articles published or made public during the lifetime of Hartman to which he personally replied. It contains previously published replies to Hector Neri Castañeda, William Eckhardt, and Robert S. Brumbaugh, and previously unpublished replies to Charles Hartshorne, Rem B. Edwards, (...) Robert E. Carter, G.R. Grice, Nicholas Rescher, Robert W. Mueller, Gordon Welty, Pete Gunter, and George K. Plochmann in an unfinished but now completed article on which Hartman was working at the time of his death in 1973.Part II consists of articles presented at recent annual meetings of the R.S. Hartman Institute for Formal and Applied Axiology that continue to criticize and further develop Hartman's formal axiology. An article by Rem B. Edwards raises serious unanswered questions about formal axiology and ethics. Another by Frank G. Forrest shows how the formal value calculus based on set theory might answer these questions, and an article by Mark A. Moore points out weaknesses in the Hartman/Forrest value calculus and develops an alternative calculus based upon the mathematics of quantum mechanics. While recognizing that unsolved problems remain, the book intends to make the theoretical foundations and future promise of formal axiology much more secure. (shrink)
The prominent Russian philosopher Nikolai Lossky and his ex-student Nicolai Hartmann shared many metaphysical and epistemological views, and Lossky is likely to have influenced Hartmann in adopting several of them. But, in the case of axiological issues, it appears that Lossky also borrowed from the axiologies of Hartmann and the latter's Cologne colleague, Max Scheler. The links between the theories of values of Scheler and Hartmann have been studied abundantly, but never in relation to Lossky. In this paper, I examine (...) the manifold relationships – similarities, differences, borrowings, criticisms, and possible influences – between Lossky's axiology and those of Scheler and Hartmann on four key interweaving issues: (1) their ontological realism with regards to the objectivity of values, (2) their epistemological theories of the intuition of values, (3) their ontological definitions of "value", i.e., whether values are relations, qualities, essences, powers, meanings, etc., and (4) their theories of the stratification of values. (shrink)
This book treats values as the basis for all of philosophy, an approach distinct from critiquing theories of value and far rarer. “First Philosophy,” the effort to justify the foundations for a system of philosophy, is one of the main issues that divide philosophers today. McDonald’s philosophy of values is a comprehensive attempt to replace philosophies of “existence,” “being,” “experience,” the “subject,” or “language,” with a philosophy that locates value as most basic. This transformation is a radical move within Western (...) philosophy as a whole, since it has never been done in such a thoroughgoing way. Hugh P. McDonald makes a comprehensive case against first philosophy as metaphysical, by mounting a case against all metaphysical systems of philosophy. Radical Axiology: A First Philosophy of Values is a fresh start for a rebirth of philosophy. While other movements debate the “death of philosophy,” this book radically re-evaluates the direction of philosophy by discovering values at the basis of all philosophy. This reorientation addresses the question of what the love of wisdom can mean for us today. (shrink)
For centuries, philosophers have addressed the ontological question of whether God exists. Most recently, philosophers have begun to explore the axiological question of what value impact, if any, God's existence has on our world. This book brings together four prestigious philosophers, Michael Almeida, Travis Dumsday, Perry Hendricks and Graham Oppy, to present different views on the axiological question about God. Each contributor expresses a position on axiology, which is then met with responses from the remaining contributors. This structure makes (...) for genuine discussion and developed exploration of the key issues at stake, and shows that the axiological question is more complicated than it first appears. Chapters explore a range of relevant issues, including the relationship between Judeo-Christian theism and non-naturalist alternatives such as pantheism, polytheism, and animism/panpsychism. Further chapters consider the attitudes and emotions of atheists within the theism conversation, and develop and evaluate the best arguments for doxastic pro-theism and doxastic anti-theism. Of interest to those working on philosophy of religion, theism and ethics, this book presents lively accounts of an important topic in an exciting and collaborative way, offered by renowned experts in this area. (shrink)
This intuition may be contrasted with the incompatible intuitions that might support, say, average utilitarianism. According to average utilitarianism we should bring about that outcome which has the highest average utility. That someone would have a higher than average level of utility is, therefore, ceteris paribus a reason to act so that that person exists. Because of this, the basic intuition is a reason for rejecting average utilitarianism.
Standard welfarist axiologies do not care who is given what share of the good. For example, giving Wlodek two apples and Ewa three is just as good as giving Wlodek three and Ewa two, or giving Wlodek five and Ewa zero. A common objection to such theories is that they are insensitive to matters of distributive justice. To meet this objection, one can adjust the axiology to take distributive concerns into account. One possibility is to turn to what I (...) will call Meritarian axiologies. According to such theories, individuals can have a claim to, deserve, or merit, a certain level of wellbeing depending on their merit level, and the value of an outcome is determined not only by people’s wellbeing but also by their merit level. (shrink)
The ethics of abortion considers whether abortion is immoral. Pro-choice philosophers think that it is not immoral, while pro-life philosophers think that it is. The axiology of abortion considers whether world would be better if the pro-choice or pro-life position is right. While much attention has been given to the ethics of abortion, there has been no attention given to the axiology of abortion. In this article, I seek to change that. I consider various arguments for thinking our (...) world would be better if the pro-choice position or the pro-life position is correct, ultimately concluding that it would be better if the pro-choice position is right. This is unfortunate, however, since there is no good reason to think the pro-choice position is correct. (shrink)
This book expounds the basic principles of Axiology as a major field of philosophical inquiry. Those principles can be discovered and demonstrated by scientific method. In treating scientific inquiry the book throws light on what values are and how they are known. It explores questions of Good and Bad, Ends and Means, and Appearance and Reality as applied to values. Axiology, argues the author, provides the basis for ethics as the science of oughtness: the power that a greater (...) good has over a lesser good in compelling our choices. The book concludes with a survey of efforts to establish Axiology as a science. (shrink)
Lougheed argues that a possible solution to the problem of divine hiddenness is that God hides in order to increase the axiological value of the world. In a world where God exists, the goods associated with theism necessarily obtain. But Lougheed also claims that in such a world it’s possible to experience the goods of atheism, even if they don’t actually obtain. This is what makes a world with a hidden God more valuable than a world where God is unhidden, (...) and also more valuable than an atheistic world with no God. We show that Lougheed never considers the comparison between a world where God hides and an atheistic world. We argue that it’s possible for a person to experience theistic goods in a world where God does not exist, a possibility Lougheed never considers. If this is right it undermines his axiological solution to divine hiddenness. We conclude by showing how our discussion of the axiology of theism connects to the existential question of whether God exists; that is, we show that the axiological question is dependent on the existential question. (shrink)
The axiological tenet of scientific realism, “science seeks true theories,” is generally taken to rest on a corollary epistemological tenet, “we can justifiably believe that our successful theories achieve (or approximate) that aim.” While important debates have centered on, and have led to the refinement of, the epistemological tenet, the axiological tenet has suffered from neglect. I offer what I consider to be needed refinements to the axiological postulate. After showing an intimate relation between the refined postulate and ten theoretical (...) desiderata, I argue that the axiological postulate does not depend on its epistemological counterpart; epistemic humility can accompany us in the quest for truth. Upon contrasting my axiological postulate against the two dominant non-realist alternatives and the standard realist postulate, I contend that its explanatory and justificatory virtues render it, among the axiologies considered, the richest account of the scientific enterprise. (shrink)
I maintain that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. I examine three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is non‐instrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or non‐derivative value. In each case, I argue that the concept of (...) final value described is either identical with the classical notion of intrinsic value or is not a plausible candidate for the primary concept of axiology. (shrink)
It is notoriously difficult to find an intuitively satisfactory rule for evaluating populations based on the welfare of the people in them. Standard examples, like total utilitarianism, either entail the Repugnant Conclusion or in some other way contradict common intuitions about the relative value of populations. Several philosophers have presented formal arguments that seem to show that this happens of necessity: our core intuitions stand in contradiction. This paper assesses the state of play, focusing on the most powerful of these (...) ‘impossibility theorems’, as developed by Gustaf Arrhenius. I highlight two ways in which these theorems fall short of their goal: some appeal to a supposedly egalitarian condition which, however, does not properly reflect egalitarian intuitions; the others rely on a background assumption about the structure of welfare which cannot be taken for granted. Nonetheless, the theorems remain important: they give insight into the difficulty, if not perhaps the impossibility, of constructing a satisfactory population axiology. We should aim for reflective equilibrium between intuitions and more theoretical considerations. I conclude by highlighting one possible ingredient in this equilibrium, which, I argue, leaves open a still wider range of acceptable theories: the possibility of vague or otherwise indeterminate value relations. (shrink)
Population axiology concerns how to evaluate populations in regard to their goodness, that is, how to order populations by the relations “is better than” and “is as good as”. This field has been riddled with impossibility results which seem to show that our considered beliefs are inconsistent in cases where the number of people and their welfare varies.1 All of these results have one thing in common, however. They all involve an adequacy condition that rules out Derek Parfit’s Repugnant (...) Conclusion: The Repugnant Conclusion: For any perfectly equal population with very high positive welfare, there is a population with very low positive welfare which is better, other things being equal.2 1 The informal Mere Addition Paradox in Parfit (1984), pp. 419ff is the locus classicus. For an informal proof of a similar result with stronger assumptions, see Ng (1989), p. 240. A formal proof with slightly stronger assumptions than Ng’s can be found in Blackorby and Donaldson (1991). For theorems with much weaker assumptions, see my (1999), (2000b), and especially (2000a), (2001), and (2009). 2 See Parfit (1984), p. 388. My formulation is more general than Parfit’s apart from that he doesn’t demand that the people with very high welfare are equally well off. Expressions such as “a population with very high positive welfare”, “a population with very low positive welfare”, etc., are elliptical for the more cumbersome phrases “a population consisting only of lives with.. (shrink)
The topic of this thesis is axiological uncertainty – the question of how you should evaluate your options if you are uncertain about which axiology is true. As an answer, I defend Expected Value Maximisation (EVM), the view that one option is better than another if and only if it has the greater expected value across axiologies. More precisely, I explore the axiomatic foundations of this view. I employ results from state-dependent utility theory, extend them in various ways and (...) interpret them accordingly, and thus provide axiomatisations of EVM as a theory of axiological uncertainty. (shrink)
The question of whether God exists has long preoccupied philosophers. Many accounts of God have been proposed, and many arguments for and against God’s existence have been offered and discussed. But while philosophers have been busy trying to determine whether or not God exists, they have generally neglected to ask this question: "Does it _matter _whether God exists?" _Does God Matter?_ features ten original essays written by prominent philosophers of religion that address this very important, yet surprisingly neglected, question. One (...) natural way to approach this question is to seek to understand what difference God’s existence would—or does—make to the value of the world and the well-being of its inhabitants. The three essays in Section I defend versions of _pro-theism_: the view that God’s existence would, or does, make things better than they would otherwise be. The three subsequent essays in Section II defend _anti-theism_: the view that God’s existence would, or does, make things worse than they would otherwise be. The final four essays in Section III consider the interplay between the existential and axiological debates concerning the existence of God. This book presents important research on a growing topic in philosophy of religion that will also be of keen interest to scholars working in other areas of philosophy, and in other disciplines. (shrink)
The axiological question in the philosophy of religion is the question of what impact, if any, God’s existence does make to the axiological value of our world. It has recently been argued that we should prefer a theistic world where God is hidden to an atheistic world or a theistic world where God isn’t hidden. This is because in a hidden theistic world all of the theistic goods obtain in addition to the experience of atheistic goods. I complete this line (...) of argument by showing that theistic goods do indeed obtain in a world where God hides. In doing so I indirectly argue against proponents of divine hiddenness arguments such as J.L. Schellenberg. The correct answer to the axiological question turns out to be a solution to the problem of divine hiddenness. (shrink)
Planetary protection is not just a matter of science. It is also a matter of value. This is so independently of whether we only include the protection of science or if we also include other goals. Excluding other values than the protection of science is thus a value statement, not a scientific statement and it does not make planetary protection value neutral. It just makes the axiological basis (that is, the value basis) for planetary protection more limited in a way (...) that is inconsistent with the axiological grounds for back contamination, ethically questionable and strategically unwise. However we look at it, we cannot get away from the conclusion that the axiological dimension of planetary protection is a task that needs to involve experts on value theory as well as experts from a range of different sciences and also include opinions from outside the academic community. (shrink)
How ought you to evaluate your options if you’re uncertain about which axiology is true? One prominent response is Expected Moral Value Maximisation, the view that under axiological uncertainty, an option is better than another if and only if it has the greater expected moral value across axiologies. EMVM raises two fundamental questions. First, there’s a question about what it should even mean. In particular, it presupposes that we can compare moral value across axiologies. So to even understand EMVM, (...) we need to explain what it is for such comparisons to hold. Second, assuming that we understand it, there’s a question about whether EMVM is true. Since there are many plausible rivals, we need an argument to defend it. In this paper, I’ll introduce a representation theorem for axiological uncertainty to answer these two questions. Roughly, the theorem shows that if all our axiologies satisfy the von Neumann–Morgenstern axioms, and if the facts about which options are better than which in light of your uncertainty also satisfy these axioms as well as a Pareto condition, then these facts have a relevantly unique expected utility representation. If I’m right, this theorem at once affords us a compelling way to understand EMVM—and specifically intertheoretic comparisons—and a systematic argument for its truth. (shrink)
Values, Valuations, and Axiological Norms in Richard Rorty's Neopragmatism sympathetically discusses Richard Rorty's neopragmatist philosophy. This book brings together a range of interpretations and possibilities on a variety of humanistic topics, including philosophy, literature, culture, film, economics, social issues, politics, and more. Skowroński involves the work of philosophers such as Kant, Dewey, Santayana, and Kołakowski as he delves into various philosophical problems using the lens of Rorty’s neopragmatist thought.
In this article I consider the normative and axiological dimension of Simmel’s thought. Building on previous interpretations, I argue that although Simmel cannot be interpreted as a systematic normative theorist, the issue of values and the normative standpoint can nevertheless be traced in various aspects of his multifarious work. This interpretive turn attempts to link Simmel’s obscure theory of value with his epistemological relationism. Relationism may offer a counterweight to Simmel’s value-pluralism, since it points to normative elements (e.g. internal teleology, (...) justice) that can contribute to the reconciliation between incommensurablity of forms and totality. Axiological and normative concerns (of a Hegelian source) survive also in his metaphysics of life, pointing beyond a merely Bergsonian and conservative Lebensphilosophie. I conclude with some thoughts on how this normative rethinking of Simmel’s thought can contribute towards more adequate appreciations of Simmel’s overall theory. (shrink)
This book explains and advances formal axiology as originally developed by Robert S. Hartman. Formal axiology identifies the general or formal patterns involved in (1) the meaning of "good" and other value concepts, (2) WHAT we value (value-objects), and (3) HOW we value (evaluations). It explains the rational, practical, and affective aspects of evaluation, and it shows how to make value judgments more rationally and effectively. It distinguishes between intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic values and evaluations, and it discusses (...) how they fall into a rational hierarchy of value. It argues for the intrinsic worth of unique conscious beings and develops an an axiological ethics in three value dimensions. It explores the search for a logical calculus of value, and it introduces applications of axiology to psychology, religion, aesthetics, and business. It is critical of Hartman's shortcomings,, builds upon his strengths, and extends his theory of value where it is incomplete. (shrink)
Given the deep disagreement surrounding population axiology, one should remain uncertain about which theory is best. However, this uncertainty need not leave one neutral about which acts are better or worse. We show that, as the number of lives at stake grows, the Expected Moral Value approach to axiological uncertainty systematically pushes one toward choosing the option preferred by the Total View and critical-level views, even if one’s credence in those theories is low.
The Axiology of Theism The existential question about God asks whether God exists, but the axiology of theism addresses the question of what value-impact, if any, God’s existence does have on our world and its inhabitants. There are two prominent answers to the axiological question about God. Pro-theism is the view that God’s … Continue reading The Axiology of Theism →.
This article is dedicated to basing a new current of philosophy – existential axiology. The nature of this theory involves the understanding of values as responsesof a person to key existential challenges: death, solitude, dependence of the nature and the society, etc. Value is the striving of a human to clarify the meaning andsignificance of our existence, it is an act of freedom, expression of subjectivity because it’s based on our personal experience and preference. We regard values as meaningfully-significant (...) purposes of existence, that are a special type of information, reflecting the originality of the subject and expressing the most significantlonging for his own self-perfection. The sense and importance of information take effect in the programming of the psychic phenomenon and processes. Values express the maximum amount of information about the subject and emerge in the world as his highest manifestation. Since the variety in the human world is verygreat, axiological picture of the world will always be plural. (shrink)
Two related asymmetries have been discussed in relation to the ethics of creating new lives: First, we seem to have strong moral reason to avoid creating lives that are not worth living, but no moral reason to create lives that are worth living. Second, we seem to have strong moral reason to improve the wellbeing of existing lives, but, again, no moral reason to create lives that are worth living. Both asymmetries have proven very difficult to account for in any (...) coherent moral framework. I propose an impersonal population axiology to underpin the asymmetries, which sidesteps the problematic issue of whether or not people can be harmed or benefited by creation or non-creation. This axiology yields perfect asymmetry from a deliberative perspective, in terms of expected value. The axiology also yields substantial asymmetry for large and realistic populations in terms of their actual value, beyond deliberative relevance. (shrink)
Description courte (Électre, 2019) : Une étude d'un des principaux axes de réflexion du philosophe des sciences et de la nature Raymond Ruyer (1902-1987). À la lumière des découvertes de l'embryogenèse et en s'appuyant par ailleurs sur la théorie de l'information, il proposa une interprétation des concepts unificateurs de la cybernétique mécaniste. -/- Short Descriptor (Electre 2019): A study of one of the main axes of reflection of the French philosopher of science and of nature Raymond Ruyer (1902-1987). Relying on (...) the discoveries about embryogenesis, and also with the use of information theory, Ruyer proposed an interpretation of the main unifying concepts of mechanistic cybernetics. -/- Cet ouvrage propose une étude fouillée d'un des principaux axes de réflexion du philosophe des sciences et de la nature français Raymond Ruyer (1902–1987) : la cybernétique. Après avoir proposé une philosophie structuraliste, Ruyer la modifia à la lumière des découvertes de l'embryogenèse, puis il proposa une interprétation des concepts unificateurs de la cybernétique mécaniste. Réfléchissant sur cette dernière et sur la théorie de l'information, en particulier sur l'origine de l'information, il défendit que cette cybernétique n'était qu'une lecture inversée de la vraie cybernétique, qui nous donnerait de lire dans l'expérience même les traces du pouvoir morphogénétique, appréhendé comme un champ axiologique. Dans un texte résumant son propre parcours, Ruyer affirma finalement que la critique de la théorie de l'information « peut donner […] l'espoir d'aboutir à quelque chose comme une nouvelle théologie. » Les idées directrices de Ruyer sont tout particulièrement contextualisées ici à partir de la question du développement des formes en biologie, et de celles de la génétique, de la genèse stochastique de l'ordre, et de l'identification mentale ou physique de l'information. Il se termine en départageant ce qui est théologique et axiologique dans ce projet de métaphysique qui, bien que resté inachevé, n'en représente pas moins le plus impressionnant conçu en France au siècle dernier. – This book offers an in-depth study of one of the main axes in the reflection of French philosopher of science and nature Raymond Ruyer. In a text summarising his own development, Ruyer stated about the philosophical critique of information theory that it "is what can give the most long-lasting hope of getting to something like a new theology." After propounding a structuralist philosophy, and distinguishing between form and structure, to then modify it in the light of discoveries in embryogenesis, Ruyer offered a re-evaluation of the unifying concepts of mechanistic cybernetics. Thinking about it and about information theory, he defended the idea that this cybernetics was in reality an inverted reading of the real one, which would allow us to read in experience itself traces of the morphogenetic power, apprehended as the axiological field. On some transversal points, the development of forms in biology and genetics, the stochastic genesis of order, the identification of information with either psychological and mental, or physical reality, behaviour, and the access to meaning, this work exposes the main ideas of Ruyer while situating them in the context of the breadth of others' contributions. It ends by determining what is theological and axiological in this project for a metaphysics which, although unfinished, is nevertheless the most impressive effort done in France in the last century. – Available on i6doc dot com (ISBN 978-2-930517-56-8 ; pdf 978-2-930517-57-5). (shrink)
This paper clarifies the nature of moral experience, examines its evidential role in supporting moral judgments, and argues that moral experiences can be among the things having intrinsic value. Moral experience is compared with aesthetic experience and contrasted with its close relative, non-moral experience combined with moral beliefs. The concluding sections explore the case for the organicity of intrinsic value and the kind of role such value can play in grounding moral obligation.
This dissertation seeks to describe axiology and soteriology as two different methods of inquiry which interpret intuitive relations to meaning by arguing that these methods are the very basis for inquiry itself. My aim is first to inquire about the essence of meaning , and second, to inquire whether this meaning is implied or intended . In other words, my claim is that an inquirer's metaphysical attitude towards the essence of meaning itself will determine an inquirer's method of inquiry. (...) Where an inquirer's attitude toward meaning is to find its essence as a mere universal, as if its origin was contained in 'timeless elements' that are intrinsically independent of any experiences, then the metaphysical attitude is such that the method of inquiry reveals itself as an attempt to discover meaning . By contrast, where an inquirer's attitude toward meaning is to accept its essence as a bare particular, as if its origin was contained in 'substantial elements' which are essentially dependent on experience, then the metaphysical attitude is such that the method of inquiry presents itself as an attempt at manufacturing meaning . Within this context, I describe metaphysics itself as every kind of ability that brings forth meaning, and claim that metaphysics itself inherits everything that is essentially brought forth as meaning. My claim is that although metaphysics is essential, it varies in relation to the attitude of its applicant: There are metaphysicians who claim to have knowledge of reality that originates from the noumena and whose concerns are 'relations of ideas,' and there are metaphysicians who claim to have empirical hypotheses which illustrate the phenomena and whose concerns are 'matters of fact.' I maintain that these attitudes evolve from a simple contrast: Either one's attitude applies metaphysics forgetfully, as 'intellect,' as a method for discovering the meaning, as to practice axiology; or one's attitude applies metaphysics joyfully, as 'performance,' as a method in manufacturing a meaning as in applying soteriology. (shrink)
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