Monism and Pluralism about Value

In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 136-157 (2015)
Authors
Chris Heathwood
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
This essay discusses monism and pluralism about two related evaluative notions: welfare, or what makes people better off, and value simpliciter, or what makes the world better. These are stipulatively referred to as 'axiological value'. Axiological value property monists hold that one of these notions is reducible to the other (or else eliminable), while axiological value property pluralists deny this. Substantive monists about axiological value hold that there is just one basic kind of thing that makes our lives or the world better, while substantive pluralists hold that there is more than one such thing. A more radical kind of pluralism holds that each of the plurality of good things is good in its own way, thus raising questions concerning value comparability and compensability. The essay elucidates these theories and discusses important arguments for and against them.
Keywords Value pluralism  Value monism  Comparability
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Reprint years 2015, 2016
DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199959303.013.0009
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