The paper presents and discusses the so-called Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem (WKR problem) that arises for the fitting-attitudes analysis of value. This format of analysis is exemplified for example by Scanlon's buck-passing account, on which an object's value consists in the existence of reasons to favour the object- to respond to it in a positive way. The WKR problem can be put as follows: It appears that in some situations we might well have reasons to have pro-attitudes (...) toward objects that are not valuable. Or vice versa: we might have reasons not to have pro-attitudes toward some valuable objects. The paper goes through several attempts to solve (or dissolve) the WKR problem and argues that none of them is fully satisfactory. (shrink)
This paper defends a 'fitting attitudes' view of value on which what it is for something to be good is for there to be reasons to favour that thing. The first section of the paper defends a 'linking principle' connecting reasons and value. The second and third sections argue that this principle is better explained by a fitting-attitudes view than by 'value-first' views on which reasons are explained in terms of value.
The privilege of having three sets of extensive and hard-hitting comments on one's work is as welcome as it is rare, and especially so on this occasion as the lectures were, for me, but thefirst (well, not entirely first) stab at a subject I hope to explore at greater length. The reflectionsthat follow will respond to some of the criticisms, but will not be a point by point reply. I will use the occasion to clarify some obscurities in the lectures, (...) and to contrast my view with some of my critics' own positions. I will proceed thematically, starting with some observations about method and about ontology, proceeding to explore several questions about the relations between social dependence and relativism, between genre, value, and normativity, and concluding with a fewwords on pluralism and liberal values. (shrink)
This study investigates the effects of internal and external corporate governance and monitoring mechanisms on the choice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagement and the value of firms engaging in CSR activities. The study finds the CSR choice is positively associated with the internal and external corporate governance and monitoring mechanisms, including board leadership, board independence, institutional ownership, analyst following, and anti- takeover provisions, after controlling for various firm characteristics. After correcting for endogeneity and simultaneity issues, the results show (...) that CSR engagement positively influences firm value measured by industry-adjusted Tobin’s q. We find that the impact of analyst following for firms that engage in CSR on firm value is strongly positive, while the board leadership, board independence, blockholders’ ownership, and institutional ownership play a relatively weaker role in enhancing firm value. Furthermore, we find that CSR activities that address internal social enhancement within the firm, such as employees diversity, firm relationship with its employees, and product quality, enhance the value of firm more than other CSR subcategories for broader external social enhancement such as community relation and environmental concerns. (shrink)
Many economists and philosophers assume that status quo bias is necessarily irrational. I argue that, in some cases, status quo bias is fully rational. I discuss the rationality of status quo bias on both subjective and objective theories of the rationality of preferences. I argue that subjective theories cannot plausibly condemn this bias as irrational. I then discuss one kind of objective theory, which holds that a conservative bias toward existing things of value is rational. This account can fruitfully (...) explain some compelling aspects of common sense morality, and it may justify status quo bias. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This chapter examines the distinction that is sometimes drawn between neutral and relative attributions of value. It asks whether a plausible interpretation can be found for claims about relative value; whether an interpretation can be found for claims about neutral value which best captures the thoughts that people express by using this distinction; whether the distinction can be used to produce a satisfactory way of formulating a relative-value consequentialist theory; and whether a theory of that kind (...) is plausible. A positive answer is given to the first three questions, but a negative one to the fourth. (shrink)
What is the role of emotions in elucidating the nature of value? For example, should dangerousness be understood in term of the fear response? What is the role of emotions in our getting access to values? For example, what may be the role of fear in becoming aware that a given animal is dangerous? What value do emotions have? For example, is fear of special value because it helps behaving appropriately towards its object? We shall take up (...) these three questions in turn and survey the most important answers they have received in the literature. As we shall discover, answering the first question amounts to surveying a variety of theories according to which there is an ontological relation between values and emotions since the former should be elucidated in terms of the latter. Addressing the second question consists in reviewing theories according to which there is an intentional relation between emotions and values because the former are apprehensions of value or evaluations. Grappling with the third question, we shall explore some reasons for thinking that emotions can exemplify values. (shrink)
We are familiar with the idea of symbolic value in everyday contexts, and philosophers sometimes help themselves to it when discussing other topics. However, symbolic value itself has not been sufficiently studied. What is it for something to have symbolic value? How important is symbolic value? The present purpose is to shed some light on the nature and significance of symbolic value. Two kinds of symbolic value are distinguished, called the ‘symbolic mode of valuing’ (...) and ‘symbolism as a ground of value’. Their potential significance lies in making a thoroughly relational contribution to thought about values, compared to the individualistic nature of more familiar values. This relational contribution consists in the role of symbols in shared ways of living. (shrink)
There are least two different things we might mean when we say that truth is a value: that it is a norm of belief, and that it is an end of inquiry. This paper considers to what extent we might be irrealist about the former claim -- that truth is a norm of belief.
The following article is a reflection on the value of peace, a term often attributes to the absence of war or the lack of violence, conflict, suppression or, in short, phenomena considerer opposite to peace. But, is this really how peace should be defined? It is a fact that peace, be it personal inner peace or peace within a society, is constantly threatened, attacked, violated, and destroyed by a variation of causes: the failure to keep a promise, the breach (...) of a contract, obtained by illegitimate means, economical ambitions, diverse geo-political strategies, anarchy, social pressure, the lack of understanding on an interpersonal level, a family crisis, immaturity, unemployment, acts of injustice, poverty, the failure to adapt, discrimination, migration, terrorism, arms trafficking, civil wars, the threat of a world war and the usage of weapons of mass destruction, etc.; factors that take away peace, among men and women, societies, and entire countries. But…what is peace? Why do we struggle so much to obtain it? Why is it so appreciated by the majority mankind? Why have humanists, philosophers, politicians, civil right organizations, and men of good will in general dealt with this topic in such an extended manner? Why it has written so much about peace? Why peace is so fragile? These are some of the questions that I will try to answer in this contribution, using some of the texts of St. Augustine, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, and Hegel as reference. (shrink)
A common argument for atheism runs as follows: God would not create a world worse than other worlds he could have created instead. However, if God exists, he could have created a better world than this one. Therefore, God does not exist. In this paper I challenge the second premise of this argument. I argue that if God exists, our world will continue without end, with God continuing to create value-bearers, and sustaining and perfecting the value-bearers he has (...) already created. Given this, if God exists, our world—considered on the whole—is infinitely valuable. I further contend that this theistic picture makes our world's value unsurpassable. In support of this contention, I consider proposals for how infinitely valuable worlds might be improved upon, focusing on two main ways—adding value-bearers and increasing the value in present value-bearers. I argue that neither of these can improve our world. Depending on how each method is understood, either it would not improve our world, or our world is unsurpassable with respect to it. I conclude by considering the implications of my argument for the problem of evil more generally conceived. (shrink)
This entry surveys issues at the intersection of art and morality. Particular emphasis is placed on whether, and in what way, the moral character of a work of art influences its artistic value. Other topics include the educational function of art and artistic censorship.
Utilitarianism is often rejected on the grounds that it fails to respect the separateness of persons, instead treating people as mere “receptacles of value”. I develop several different versions of this objection, and argue that, despite their prima facie plausibility, they are all mistaken. Although there are crude forms of utilitarianism that run afoul of these objections, I advance a new form of the view—‘token-pluralistic utilitarianism’—that does not.
As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, it is claimed that such (...) a life would be lacking important sources of value, because death is a precondition for many of our valuing attitudes. I argue that these problems are avoided by very long (and potentially infinite) lives that incorporate fading memory, limited ignorance of future events, and temporal scarcity. I conclude that very long lives are, in principle, desirable, and that death does not play an essential role in our valuing attitudes. (shrink)
The ideal of value free science states that the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values. It has been criticized on the grounds that scientists have to employ moral judgements in managing inductive risks. The paper seeks to defuse this methodological critique. Allegedly value-laden decisions can be systematically avoided, it argues, by making uncertainties explicit and articulating findings carefully. Such careful uncertainty articulation, understood as a methodological strategy, is exemplified by (...) the current practice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (shrink)
We outline the drivers, main features, and conceptual underpinnings of the compliance paradigm. We then use a similar structure to investigate the drivers, main features, and conceptual underpinnings of the cooperative paradigm for working with CSR in global value chains. We argue that the measures proposed in the new cooperation paradigm are unlikely to alter power relationships in global value chains and bring about sustained improvements in workers’ conditions in developing country export industries. After that, we provide a (...) critical appraisal of the potential and limits of the cooperative paradigm, we summarize our findings, and we outline avenues for research: purchasing practices and labor standard noncompliance, CSR capacity building among local suppliers, and improved CSR monitoring by local resources in the developing world. (shrink)
Abstract: The paper provides a general account of value relations. It takes its departure in a special type of value relation, parity, which according to Ruth Chang is a form of evaluative comparability that differs from the three standard forms of comparability: betterness, worseness and equal goodness. Recently, Joshua Gert has suggested that the notion of parity can be accounted for if value comparisons are interpreted as normative assessments of preference. While Gert's basic idea is attractive, the (...) way he develops it is flawed: His modeling of values by intervals of permissible preference strengths is inadequate. Instead, I provide an alternative modeling in terms of intersections of rationally permissible preference orderings. This yields a general taxonomy of all binary value relations. The paper concludes with some implications of this approach for rational choice. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: We argue that the so-called ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ Value Problems for knowledge are more easily solved than is widely appreciated. Pritchard, for instance, has suggested that only virtue-theoretic accounts have any hopes of adequately addressing these problems. By contrast, we argue that accounts of knowledge that are sensitive to the Gettier problem are able to overcome these challenges. To first approximation, the Primary Value Problem is a problem of understanding how the property of being knowledge confers more (...) epistemic value on a belief than the property of being true. The Secondary Value is a problem of understanding how, for instance, property of being knowledge confers more epistemic value on a belief than the property of being jointly true and justified. We argue that attending to the fact that beliefs are ongoing states reveals that there is no difficulty in appreciating how knowledge might ordinarily have more epistemic value than mere true belief or mere justified true belief. We also explore in what ways ordinary cases of knowledge might be of distinctive epistemic value. In the end, our proposal resembles the original Platonic suggestion in the Meno that knowledge is valuable because knowledge is somehow tied to the good of truth. (shrink)
According to the dominant philosophical tradition, intrinsic value must depend solely upon intrinsic properties. By appealing to various examples, however, I argue that we should at least leave open the possibility that in some cases intrinsic value may be based in part on relational properties. Indeed, I argue that we should even be open to the possibility that an object''s intrinsic value may sometimes depend (in part) on its instrumental value. If this is right, of course, (...) then the traditional contrast between intrinsic value and instrumental value is mistaken. (shrink)
The essentially comparative conception of value entails that the value of a state of affairs does not depend solely upon features intrinsic to the state of affairs, but also upon extrinsic features, such as the set of feasible alternatives. It has been argued that this conception of value gives us reason to abandon the transitivity of the better than relation. This paper shows that the support for intransitivity derived from this conception of value is very limited. (...) On its most plausible interpretations, it merely provides a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for intransitivity. It is further argued that the essentially comparative conception of value appears to support a disjunctive conclusion: there is incommensurability of value or betterness is not transitive. Of these two alternatives, incommensurability is preferable, because it is far less threatening to our other axiological commitments. (shrink)
The prospective robots in healthcare intended to be included within the conclave of the nurse-patient relationship—what I refer to as care robots—require rigorous ethical reflection to ensure their design and introduction do not impede the promotion of values and the dignity of patients at such a vulnerable and sensitive time in their lives. The ethical evaluation of care robots requires insight into the values at stake in the healthcare tradition. What’s more, given the stage of their development and lack of (...) standards provided by the International Organization for Standardization to guide their development, ethics ought to be included into the design process of such robots. The manner in which this may be accomplished, as presented here, uses the blueprint of the Value-sensitive design approach as a means for creating a framework tailored to care contexts. Using care values as the foundational values to be integrated into a technology and using the elements in care, from the care ethics perspective, as the normative criteria, the resulting approach may be referred to as care centered value-sensitive design. The framework proposed here allows for the ethical evaluation of care robots both retrospectively and prospectively. By evaluating care robots in this way, we may ultimately ask what kind of care we, as a society, want to provide in the future. (shrink)
This paper begins with a response to Josh Gert’s challenge that ‘on a par with’ is not a sui generis fourth value relation beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. It then explores two further questions: can parity be modeled by an interval representation of value? And what should one rationally do when faced with items on a par? I argue that an interval representation of value is incompatible with the possibility that items are on a (...) par (a mathematical proof is given in the appendix). I also suggest that there are three senses of ‘rationally permissible’ which, once distinguished, show that parity does distinctive practical work that cannot be done by the usual trichotomy of relations or by incomparability. In this way, we have an additional argument for parity from the workings of practical reason. (shrink)
Allan Hazlett challenges the philosophical assumption of the value of true belief. He critiques the view that true belief is better for us than false belief, and the view that truth is "the aim of belief". An alternative picture is provided, on which the fact that some people love truth is all there is to "the value of true belief".
Analyses of moral value judgements must meet a practicality requirement: moral speech acts characteristically express pro- or con-attitudes, indicate that speakers are motivated in certain ways, and exert influence on others' motivations. Nondescriptivists including Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard claim that no descriptivist analysis can satisfy this requirement. I argue first that while the practicality requirement is defeasible, it indeed demands a connection between value judgement and motivation that resembles a semantic or conceptual rather than merely contingent psychological (...) link. I then show how a form of descriptivism, the interest-relational theory, satisfies the requirement as a pragmatic and conversational feature of value judgement – thereby also accommodating its defeasibility. The word ``good'' is always indexed to some set of motivations: when this index is unarticulated in many contexts the speaker conversationally implicates possession of those motivations. (shrink)
Two competing accounts of value incomparability have been put forward in the recent literature. According to the standard account, developed most famously by Joseph Raz, ‘incomparability’ means determinate failure of the three classic value relations ( better than , worse than , and equally good ): two value-bearers are incomparable with respect to a value V if and only if (i) it is false that x is better than y with respect to V , (ii) it (...) is false that x is worse than y with respect to V and (iii) it is false that x and y are equally good with respect to V . Most philosophers have followed Raz in adopting this account of incomparability. Recently, however, John Broome has advocated an alternative view, on which value incomparability is explained in terms of vagueness or indeterminacy . In this paper I aim to further Broome’s view in two ways. Firstly, I want to supply independent reasons for thinking that the phenomenon of value incomparability is indeed a matter of the indeterminacy inherent in our comparative predicates. Secondly, I attempt to defend Broome’s account by warding off several objections that worry him, due mainly to Erik Carlson and Ruth Chang. (shrink)
What is the most general common set ofattributes that characterises something asintrinsically valuableand hence as subject to some moral respect, andwithout which something would rightly beconsidered intrinsically worthless or even positivelyunworthy and therefore rightly to bedisrespected in itself? Thispaper develops and supports the thesis that theminimal condition of possibility of an entity'sleast intrinsic value is to be identified with itsontological status as an information object.All entities, even when interpreted as only clusters ofinformation, still have a minimal moral worthqua information (...) objects and so may deserve to be respected. Thepaper is organised into four main sections.Section 1 models moral action as an information systemusing the object-oriented programmingmethodology (OOP). Section 2 addresses the question of whatrole the several components constituting themoral system can have in an ethical analysis. If theycan play only an instrumental role, thenComputer Ethics (CE) is probably bound to remain at most apractical, field-dependent, applied orprofessional ethics. However, Computer Ethics can give rise to amacroethical approach, namely InformationEthics (IE), if one can show that ethical concern should beextended to include not only human, animal orbiological entities, but also information objects. Thefollowing two sections show how this minimalistlevel of analysis can be achieved. Section 3 provides anaxiological analysis of information objects. Itcriticises the Kantian approach to the concept ofintrinsic value and shows that it can beimproved by using the methodology introduced in the first section.The solution of the Kantian problem prompts thereformulation of the key question concerningthe moral worth of an entity: what is theintrinsic value of x qua an object constituted by itsinherited attributes? In answering thisquestion, it is argued that entitiescan share different observable propertiesdepending on the level of abstraction adopted,and that it is still possible to speak of moral value even at thehighest level of ontological abstractionrepresented by the informational analysis. Section 4 develops aminimalist axiology based on the concept ofinformation object. It further supports IE's position byaddressing five objections that may undermineits acceptability. (shrink)
Recent attention to the relationship between aesthetic value and cognitive value has focused on whether the latter can affect the former. In this article, I approach the issue from the opposite direction. I investigate whether the aesthetic value of a work can influence its cognitive value. More narrowly, I consider whether a work's aesthetic value ever contributes to or detracts from its philosophical value, which I take to include the truth of its claims, the (...) strength of its arguments, and its internal consistency. I argue that aesthetic value does have such an impact, at least sometimes and to some degree. The aesthetic merits of some works help to preserve their consistency, and the aesthetic defects of other works render them self-contradictory. (shrink)
The topic of personal identity has prompted some of the liveliest and most interesting debates in recent philosophy. In a fascinating new contribution to the discussion, Peter Unger presents a psychologically aimed, but physically based, account of our identity over time. While supporting the account, he explains why many influential contemporary philosophers have underrated the importance of physical continuity to our survival, casting a new light on the work of Lewis, Nagel, Nozick, Parfit, Perry, Shoemaker, and others. Deriving from his (...) discussion of our identity itself, Unger produces a novel but commonsensical theory of the relations between identity and some of our deepest concerns. In a conservative but flexible spirit, he explores the implications of his theory for questions of value and of the good life. (shrink)
The value problem -- Unpacking the value problem -- The swamping problem -- fundamental and non-fundamental epistemic goods -- The relevance of epistemic value monism -- Responding to the swamping problem I : the practical response -- Responding to the swamping problem II : the monistic response -- Responding to the swamping problem III : the pluralist response -- Robust virtue epistemology -- Knowledge and achievement -- Interlude : is robust virtue epistemology a reductive theory of knowledge? (...) -- Achievement without achievement -- Back to the value problem -- Contra virtue epistemology -- Two master intuitions about knowledge -- Anti-luck virtue epistemology -- Interlude : is anti-luck virtue epistemology a reductive theory of knowledge? -- Diagnosing the structure of knowledge -- Back to the value problem -- The final value of achievements -- Understanding -- Understanding and epistemic luck -- Understanding and cognitive achievement -- Back to the value problem -- Two potential implications of the distinctive value of understanding thesis -- The traditional analytical project and the central tension -- Knowledge, evidence, and reasons -- Concepts versus phenomena -- The way ahead -- Perceptual-recognitional abilities -- Broad and narrow competence -- Avoiding reduction -- Perpetual-recognitional abilities -- Broad and narrow competence -- Avoiding reduction -- Perceptual knowledge and justified belief -- Closure and doxastic responsibility -- Knowledge from indicators -- Recognitional abilities again -- Detached standing knowledge -- Back to knowledge from indicators -- Taking stock -- Why knowledge matters -- Approaching the epistemology of testimony -- Telling and informing -- Acquiring true beliefs and acquiring knowledge through being told -- Access to facts about knowledge -- The modest route -- Fool's knowledge -- The distinctive value of knowledge -- Fool's justification -- Arguing from illusion -- The regress of justifications -- Transparency and knowledge -- Transparency and entitlement -- On trying to do without transparency -- Transparency and luminosity -- Non-sensible knowledge -- Self-knowledge -- Non-sensible knowledge of action -- The two dimensions -- The distinctive value of knowledge of action -- Non-observational knowledge -- Practical knowledge and intention -- Practical knowledge and direction of fit. (shrink)
This paper defends a novel account of how to determine the intrinsic value of possible worlds. Section 1 argues that a highly intuitive and widely accepted account leads to undesirable consequences. Section 2 takes the first of two steps towards a novel account by clarifying and defending a view about value-contribution that is based on some of W. D. Ross’ claims about the value of pleasure. Section 3 takes the second step by clarifying and defending a view (...) about value-suppression that is based on Ross’ claims about the interplay between prima-facie duties. Section 4 states and defends the account that I call Rossian Totalism. According to this account, the atoms of intrinsic value within a world only sometimes contribute their intrinsic value to the value of that world. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is to propose that reflection is a performance that has epistemic value. This idea contains two parts: the first asserts that reflection has instrumental value. The second that reflective performance promotes an epistemic virtue that has final value. The first part is not controversial and most epistemologists would accept it. The second, however, asserts that there is a kind of epistemic good which can only be achieved through reflection. There is much (...) controversy in this. Reflection is understood here as a performance, an activity in which the person examines the evidence, content and reliability of their own beliefs. This performance may lead to different results, but if someone is capable of critically reflecting on their own beliefs in skeptical-dialectic contexts, whatever the results, this performance will produce positive epistemic states – contrary to people who, in the face of skeptical challenges, simply decide to remain intellectually immobile, maintaining a cowardly, arrogant or dogmatic position. The critical spirit with which someone discusses opinions in the context of dialectical disagreement, submitting them to the scrutiny of reason (that is, to the arguments for or against), is virtuous and has epistemic value. The consequence of this performance, the epistemic preference, has a final value, since deliberations based on free judgment have final value. (shrink)
This paper is a reply to Michael Lynch's "Truth, Value and Epistemic Expressivism" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research for 2009. It argues that Lynch's argument against expressivism fails because of an ambiguity in the employed notion of an 'epistemically disengaged standpoint'.
We challenge a line of thinking at the fore of recent work on epistemic value: the line (suggested by Kvanvig in The value of knowledge and the pursuit of understanding, 2003 and others) that if the value of knowledge is “swamped” by the value of mere true belief, then we have good reason to doubt its theoretical importance in epistemology. We offer a value-driven argument for the theoretical importance of knowledge—one that stands even if the (...)value of knowledge is “swamped” by the value of true belief. Specifically, we contend that even if knowledge itself has no special epistemic value, its relationship to other items of value—cognitive abilities—gives ample reason to locate the concept at the very core of epistemology. (shrink)
The significance of private standards and associated local level initiatives in agri-food value chains are increasingly recognised. However whilst issues related to compliance and impact at the smallholder or worker level have frequently been analysed, the governance implications in terms of how private standards affect national level institutions, public, private and non-governmental, have had less attention. This article applies an extended value chain framework for critical analysis of Private Standards Initiatives (PSIs) in agrifood chains, drawing on primary research (...) on PSIs operating in Kenyan horticulture (Horticulture Ethical Business Initiative and KenyaGAP). The paper explores the legislative, executive and judicial aspects of governance in these southern PSIs highlighting how different stakeholders shape debates and act with agency. It is argued that governance is exercised ‘beyond the vertical’ in that one can identify wider horizontal processes of governance, including how the scope of key debates is constructed (especially in legislative governance) but analysis of executive governance emphasises the dominant role of the lead buyers. (shrink)
One of the most prominent objections to skeptical theism in recent literature is that the skeptical theist is forced to deny our competency in making judgments about the all-things-considered value of any natural event. Some skeptical theists accept that their view has this implication, but argue that it is not problematic. I think that there is reason to question the implication itself. I begin by explaining the objection to skeptical theism and the standard response to it. I then identify (...) an assumption that is prevalent in much of the literature concerning the problem of evil, and show that it is a factor in motivating commitment to the implication I mean to question. I argue that the assumption is false, and that once it is rejected there is room to endorse the skeptical theist's strategy in responding to some arguments from evil without endorsing the putative implication that objectors find unacceptable. (shrink)
This article gives an account of what makes achievements valuable. Although the natural thought is that achievements are valuable because of the product, such as a cure for cancer or a work of art, I argue that the value of the product of an achievement is not sufficient to account for its overall value. Rather, I argue that achievements are valuable in virtue of their difficulty. I propose a new perfectionist theory of value that acknowledges the will (...) as a characteristic human capacity, and thus holds that the exercise of the will, and therefore difficulty, is intrinsically valuable. (shrink)
Duncan Pritchard (2008, 2009, 2010, forthcoming) has argued for an elegant solution to what have been called the value problems for knowledge at the forefront of recent literature on epistemic value. As Pritchard sees it, these problems dissolve once it is recognized that that it is understanding-why, not knowledge, that bears the distinctive epistemic value often (mistakenly) attributed to knowledge. A key element of Pritchard’s revisionist argument is the claim that understanding-why always involves what he calls strong (...) cognitive achievement—viz., cognitive achievement that consists always in either (i) the overcoming of a significant obstacle or (ii) the exercise of a significant level of cognitive ability. After outlining Pritchard’s argument, we show (contra Pritchard) that understanding-why does not essentially involve strong cognitive achievement. Interestingly, in the cases in which understanding-why is distinctively valuable, it is (we argue) only because there is sufficiently rich objectual understanding in the background. If that’s right, then a plausible revisionist solution to the value problems must be sensitive to different kinds of understanding and what makes them valuable, respectively. (shrink)
The endeavour to locate value in moral progress faces various substantive as well as more formal challenges. This paper focuses on challenges of the latter kind. After some preliminaries, Section 3 introduces two general kinds of “evaluative moral progress-claims”, and outlines a possible novel analysis of a descriptive notion of moral progress. While Section 4 discusses certain logical features of betterness in light of recent work in value theory which are pertinent to the notion of moral progress, Sections (...) 5 and 6 outline the ambiguous character of “making moral progress”. (shrink)
The buck-passing account of value involves a positive and a negative claim. The positive claim is that to be good is to have reasons for a pro-attitude. The negative claim is that goodness itself is not a reason for a pro-attitude. Unlike Scanlon, Parfit rejects the negative claim. He maintains that goodness is reason-providing, but that the reason provided is not an additional reason, additional, that is, to the reason provided by the good-making property. I consider various ways in (...) which this may be understood and reject all of them. So I conclude that buck-passers cannot reject the negative claim. (shrink)
Confucianism has a deep influence on the opinion of value priority in traditional Chinese culture, which consider the value of morality prior to that of utility; the value of moral merit prior to that of intelligent; the value of group prior to that of individuals; the value of peace and safety prior to that of freedom and liberty; the value of harmony prior to that of conflict. This kind of value priority has performed (...) very important and positive functions in Chinese culture, along with certain side-effects. Under the context of globalization, it is possible for the Chinese and Western values to complement each other in fusional harmony. (shrink)
In this article we argue that the social value of health research should be conceptualized as a function of both the expected benefits of the research and the priority that the beneficiaries deserve. People deserve greater priority the worse off they are. This conception of social value can be applied for at least two important purposes: in health research priority setting when research funders, policy-makers, or researchers decide between alternative research projects; and in evaluating the ethics of proposed (...) research proposals when research ethics committees assess whether the social value of the research is sufficient to justify the risks and burdens to research participants and others. In assessing how far a proposed research project will advance the interests of people who are more disadvantaged, research priority setters and RECs should examine the diseases that the research targets and the type of research. Just as certain diseases impose a greater burden on people who are more disadvantaged, so certain types of intervention and forms of research are more likely to benefit people who are more disadvantaged. We outline which populations are likely to be representative of the global worst off and identify what types of health research, and which disease categories, are priorities for these populations. (shrink)
This study investigates whether the market valuation of the two summary accounting measures, book value of equity and net income, is higher for firms with reputation for sustainability leadership, when compared to firms that do not enjoy such reputation. The results are interpreted through the lens of a framework combining signalling theory and resource-based theory, according to which firms signal their commitment to sustainability to influence the external perception of reputation. A firm’s reputation for being committed to sustainability is (...) an intangible resource that can increase the value of a firm’s expected cash flows and/or reduce the variability of its cash flows. Our findings are according to expectations and show that the net income of firms with good sustainability reputation has a higher valuation by the market, when compared to their counterparts. (shrink)
Philosophers interested in the fitting attitude analysis of final value have devoted a great deal of attention to the wrong kind of reasons problem. This paper offers an example of the reverse difficulty, the wrong kind of value problem. This problem creates deeper challenges for the fitting attitude analysis and provides independent grounds for rejecting it, or at least for doubting seriously its correctness.
My central thesis is that philosophers considering questions of epistemic value ought to devote greater attention to the enduring nature of beliefs. I begin by arguing that a commonly drawn analogy between beliefs and actions is flawed in important respects, and that a better, more fruitful analogue for belief would be desire, or a similarly enduring state of an agent. With this in hand, I argue that treating beliefs as enduring, constitutive states of agents allows us to capture the (...) importance of accessible, justified, and true beliefs to sustaining personal identity, autonomy, self-control, and authenticity. We thus arrive at a significant value to such beliefs through their crucial role in our personal, practical identities. (shrink)
This paper defends the epistemological doctrine of fallibilism from recent objections. In “The Myth of Knowledge” Laurence BonJour argues that we should reject fallibilism for two main reasons: first, there is no adequate way to specify what level of justification is required for fallible knowledge; second, we cannot explain why any level of justification that is less than fully conclusive should have the significance that makes knowledge valuable. I will reply to these challenges in a way that allows me to (...) make progress on a number of important issues in contemporary epistemology: epistemic value, the functional roles of knowledge attributions, experimental epistemology, skepticism, the Gettier problem, and the lottery paradox. My argument is motivated by appealing to various insights derived from the method of ‘practical explication’, particularly the idea that a central purpose of the concept of knowledge is to flag reliable informants. My conclusion is that various practical and theoretical considerations derived from the method of practical explication support the fallibilist conception of knowledge. (shrink)
Growing inequality and its implications for democratic polity suggest that corporate social responsibility has not proved itself in twenty-first century business, largely as it lacks clear criteria of demarcation for businesses to follow. Today the problem is viewed by many commentators as an ethical challenge to business itself. In response to this challenge, we begin by examining Porter and Kramer’s :64–77, 2011) call for a shift from a social responsibility to a shared value framework and the need to respond (...) to the problem of the ‘separation thesis’ between business and ethics :89–118, 1996; Harris and Freeman, Bus Ethics Q 18:541–548, 2008). We identify the eighteenth century economist and philosopher Adam Smith in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments as a source for an ethical approach to business. Building on his central concept of ‘sympathy’, we introduce the idea of the Impartial Spectator Test, which we argue builds on traditional stakeholder perspectives and which provides an objective route to ethical criteria of demarcation. We conclude by assessing how this approach adds to the existing debate around social responsibility and shared value. (shrink)
The paper analyses economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from actual value judgments. From this basis, it compares four solutions to the value neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak (...) thesis does. (shrink)
In my paper, I defend an interpretation according to which Aristotle thinks in Nicomachean Ethics (EN) that the rational aspect of soul is needed in discerning which ends of desire would be good. Many interpreters have traditionally supported this, ‘rationalist’ line of interpreting Aristotle’s theory of value cognition. The rationalist interpretation has, however, recently come under a novel challenge from Jessica Moss (2011, 2012), but has not yet received a defence. Moss attempts to resurrect now virtually abandoned ‘anti-rationalist’ interpretation, (...) which claims, in a contrast to the rationalist one, that discerning good ends may require no activity from the rational aspect, but only well-habituated non-rational desire. Moss’ interpretation appeals to certain Aristotle’s claims in De Anima (DA) 3, which, she thinks, show that non-rational phantasia suffices for discerning good ends if only accompanied with the habituated desire. Although her interpretation can successfully avoid some problems that earlier anti-rationalist interpretations faced with certain passages of EN, I also argue, however that it introduces some new problems, and attributes philosophically incoherent views about moral responsibility to Aristotle. Therefore I conclude that even after Moss’ improvements to the anti-rationalist interpretation, the rationalist interpretation remains overall more plausible. (shrink)