Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Review 116 (2):157-185 (2007)
|Abstract||A claim to objectivity about value is sometimes cast as a claim about the value something has in itself, independent of its relations to other things. Goodness is supposed to be “separate from” relations to such irrelevancies as “private and personal advantage”, or “the positive will or command of God”, as Samuel Clarke put it.1 This thought about independence or separateness is also expressed in the idea of intrinsic value, so that it can be tempting to align a commitment to objectivity in ethics with a commitment to intrinsic value. G.E. Moore thought that a hankering after objectivity was really a hankering after intrinsic value, and he envisaged an entailment in one direction at any rate: “from the proposition that a particular kind of value is ‘intrinsic’ it does follow that it must be ‘objective’”.2 What does intrinsic value really have to do with objectivity, though? I shall be arguing that the relationship between them is more distant than you might think: first, because the extrinsically valuable can be objectively valuable (as Moore allowed); second, and more surprisingly, because the intrinsically valuable can be merely subjectively..|
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