Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):557-582 (2012)

Andy Egan
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Adopting a dispositional theory of value promises to deliver a lot of theoretical goodies. One recurring problem for dispositional theories of value, though, is a problem about nonconvergence. If being a value is being disposed to elicit response R in us, what should we say if it turns out that not everybody is disposed to have R to the same things? One horn of the problem here is a danger of the view collapsing into an error theory—of it turning out, on account of the diversity of agents' relevant dispositions, that nothing is really a value, since nothing is disposed to elicit R in everybody. Alternatively, there is a danger of an objectionable fragmentation of value, according to which there is no such thing as a value simpliciter, but only valuesme and valuesyou, valuesus and valuesthem. I advocate a de se relativist version of a dispositional theory of value. If we go for this sort of de-se-ified dispositional theory, we get to keep our theoretical goodies, but we avoid the problem of nonconvergence that leads to a danger of either collapse into an error theory, or else talking-past, and a loss of common subject matter.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2012.00136.x
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: 65,740
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

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.

View all 67 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Disagreeing in Context.Teresa Marques - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:1-12.
Moral Relativism.Christopher Gowans - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 26 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Structural Properties.Alexander Bird - 2003 - In Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra & Hallvard Lillehammer (eds.), Real Metaphysics. Routledge. pp. 155-68.
Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
“Is Relativism Self-Defeating?”.Harold Zellner - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:287-295.
Moral Relativism in Context.James R. Beebe - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
Dispositional Theories of the Colours of Things.Barry Stroud - 2007 - Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):271 - 285.
Structural Properties Revisited.Alexander Bird - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Clarendon Press. pp. 215--41.
Dispositional Explanations of Behavior.Rob Vanderbeeken & Erik Weber - 2002 - Behavior and Philosophy 30:43 - 59.
The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.


Added to PP index

Total views
144 ( #76,640 of 2,462,781 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,431 of 2,462,781 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes