CHOICE: an Objective, Voluntaristic Theory of Prudential Value

Philosophia 48 (1):191-215 (2020)

Walter Horn
Brown University (PhD)
It is customary to think that Objective List (“OL), Desire-Satisfaction (“D-S”) and Hedonistic (“HED”) theories of prudential value pretty much cover the waterfront, and that those of the three that are “subjective” are naturalistic (in the sense attacked by Moore, Ross and Ewing), while those that are “objective” must be Platonic, Aristotelian or commit the naturalist fallacy. I here argue for a theory that is both naturalistic (because voluntaristic) and objective but neither Platonic, Aristotelian, nor (I hope) fallacious. In addition, this proposal, called “CHOICE,” is an example of neither an OL, D-S, nor HED theory. It is a theory according to which uncoerced choosings create objective values that we (even everyone) may be wrong about, because valuations are conative rather than epistemic activities. On this view, intrinsic prudential goods necessarily involve likely (pursuant to lawlike regularities) net increases in successful free choosings
Keywords Voluntarism  Prudential Value  Standards of Prudential Value  Value Objectivity  Hedonism  Autonomy  Choice
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-019-00117-0
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