Population axiology is the study of the conditions under which one state of affairs is better than another, when the states of affairs in ques- tion may differ over the numbers and the identities of the persons who ever live. Extant theories include totalism, averagism, variable value theories, critical level theories, and “person-affecting” theories. Each of these the- ories is open to objections that are at least prima facie serious. A series of impossibility theorems shows that this is no (...) coincidence: it can be proved, for various sets of prima facie intuitively compelling desiderata, that no axiology can simultaneously satisfy all the desiderata on the list. One’s choice of population axiology appears to be a choice of which intuition one is least unwilling to give up. (shrink)
Critical-Range Utilitarianism is a variant of Total Utilitarianism which can avoid both the Repugnant Conclusion and the Sadistic Conclusion in population ethics. Yet Standard Critical-Range Utilitarianism entails the Weak Sadistic Conclusion, that is, it entails that each population consisting of lives at a bad well-being level is not worse than some population consisting of lives at a good well-being level. In this paper, I defend a version of Critical-Range Utilitarianism which does not entail the Weak Sadistic Conclusion. This is made (...) possible by a fourth category of absolute value in addition to goodness, badness, and neutrality. (shrink)
It is notoriously difficult to find an intuitively satisfactory rule for evaluating populations based on the welfare of the people in them. Standard examples, like total utilitarianism, either entail the Repugnant Conclusion or in some other way contradict common intuitions about the relative value of populations. Several philosophers have presented formal arguments that seem to show that this happens of necessity: our core intuitions stand in contradiction. This paper assesses the state of play, focusing on the most powerful of these (...) ‘impossibility theorems’, as developed by Gustaf Arrhenius. I highlight two ways in which these theorems fall short of their goal: some appeal to a supposedly egalitarian condition which, however, does not properly reflect egalitarian intuitions; the others rely on a background assumption about the structure of welfare which cannot be taken for granted. Nonetheless, the theorems remain important: they give insight into the difficulty, if not perhaps the impossibility, of constructing a satisfactory population axiology. We should aim for reflective equilibrium between intuitions and more theoretical considerations. I conclude by highlighting one possible ingredient in this equilibrium, which, I argue, leaves open a still wider range of acceptable theories: the possibility of vague or otherwise indeterminate value relations. (shrink)
Arrhenius’s impossibility theorems purport to demonstrate that no population axiology can satisfy each of a small number of intuitively compelling adequacy conditions. However, it has recently been pointed out that each theorem depends on a dubious assumption: Finite Fine-Grainedness. This assumption states that there exists a finite sequence of slight welfare differences between any two welfare levels. Denying Finite Fine-Grainedness makes room for a lexical population axiology which satisfies all of the compelling adequacy conditions in each theorem. Therefore, (...) Arrhenius’s theorems fail to prove that there is no satisfactory population axiology. In this paper, I argue that Arrhenius’s theorems can be repurposed. Since all of our population-affecting actions have a non-zero probability of bringing about more than one distinct population, it is population prospect axiologies that are of practical relevance, and amended versions of Arrhenius’s theorems demonstrate that there is no satisfactory population prospect axiology. These impossibility theorems do not depend on Finite Fine-Grainedness, so lexical views do not escape them. (shrink)
This book treats values as the basis for all of philosophy, an approach distinct from critiquing theories of value and far rarer. “First Philosophy,” the effort to justify the foundations for a system of philosophy, is one of the main issues that divide philosophers today. McDonald’s philosophy of values is a comprehensive attempt to replace philosophies of “existence,” “being,” “experience,” the “subject,” or “language,” with a philosophy that locates value as most basic. This transformation is a radical move within Western (...) philosophy as a whole, since it has never been done in such a thoroughgoing way. Hugh P. McDonald makes a comprehensive case against first philosophy as metaphysical, by mounting a case against all metaphysical systems of philosophy. Radical Axiology: A First Philosophy of Values is a fresh start for a rebirth of philosophy. While other movements debate the “death of philosophy,” this book radically re-evaluates the direction of philosophy by discovering values at the basis of all philosophy. This reorientation addresses the question of what the love of wisdom can mean for us today. (shrink)
Given the deep disagreement surrounding population axiology, one should remain uncertain about which theory is best. However, this uncertainty need not leave one neutral about which acts are better or worse. We show that, as the number of lives at stake grows, the Expected Moral Value approach to axiological uncertainty systematically pushes one toward choosing the option preferred by the Total View and critical-level views, even if one’s credence in those theories is low.
According to Critical-Level Views in population axiology, an extra life improves a population only if that life’s welfare exceeds some fixed ‘critical level.’ An extra life at the critical level leaves the new population equally good as the original. According to Critical-Range Views, an extra life improves a population only if that life’s welfare exceeds some fixed ‘critical range.’ An extra life within the critical range leaves the new population incommensurable with the original. -/- In this paper, I sharpen (...) some old objections to these views and offer some new ones. Critical-Level Views cannot avoid certain Repugnant and Sadistic Conclusions. Critical-Range Views imply that lives featuring no good or bad components whatsoever can nevertheless swallow up and neutralise goodness or badness. Both classes of view entail that certain small changes in welfare correspond to worryingly large differences in contributive value. -/- I then offer a view that retains much of the appeal of Critical-Level and Critical-Range Views while avoiding the above pitfalls. On the Imprecise Exchange Rates View, the quantity of some good required to outweigh a given unit of some bad is imprecise. This imprecision is the source of incommensurability between lives and populations. (shrink)
This article is dedicated to basing a new current of philosophy – existential axiology. The nature of this theory involves the understanding of values as responsesof a person to key existential challenges: death, solitude, dependence of the nature and the society, etc. Value is the striving of a human to clarify the meaning andsignificance of our existence, it is an act of freedom, expression of subjectivity because it’s based on our personal experience and preference. We regard values as meaningfully-significant (...) purposes of existence, that are a special type of information, reflecting the originality of the subject and expressing the most significantlonging for his own self-perfection. The sense and importance of information take effect in the programming of the psychic phenomenon and processes. Values express the maximum amount of information about the subject and emerge in the world as his highest manifestation. Since the variety in the human world is verygreat, axiological picture of the world will always be plural. (shrink)
The axiological question in the philosophy of religion is the question of what impact, if any, God’s existence does make to the axiological value of our world. It has recently been argued that we should prefer a theistic world where God is hidden to an atheistic world or a theistic world where God isn’t hidden. This is because in a hidden theistic world all of the theistic goods obtain in addition to the experience of atheistic goods. I complete this line (...) of argument by showing that theistic goods do indeed obtain in a world where God hides. In doing so I indirectly argue against proponents of divine hiddenness arguments such as J.L. Schellenberg. The correct answer to the axiological question turns out to be a solution to the problem of divine hiddenness. (shrink)
According to lexical views in population axiology, there are good lives x and y such that some number of lives equally good as x is not worse than any number of lives equally good as y. Such views can avoid the Repugnant Conclusion without violating Transitivity or Separability, but they imply a dilemma: either some good life is better than any number of slightly worse lives, or else the ‘at least as good as’ relation on populations is radically incomplete, (...) in a sense to be explained. One might judge that the Repugnant Conclusion is preferable to each of these horns and hence embrace an Archimedean view. This is, roughly, the claim that quantity can always substitute for quality: each population is worse than a population of enough good lives. However, Archimedean views face an analogous dilemma: either some good life is better than any number of slightly worse lives, or else the ‘at least as good as’ relation on populations is radically and symmetrically incomplete, in a sense to be explained. Therefore, the lexical dilemma gives us little reason to prefer Archimedean views. Even if we give up on lexicality, problems of the same kind remain. (shrink)
Formal axiology is based on the logical nature of meaning, namely intension, and on the structure of intension as a set of predicates. It applies set theory to this set of predicates. Set theory is a certain kind of mathematics that deals with subsets in general, and of finite and infinite sets in particular. Since mathematics is objective and a priori, formal axiology is an objective and a priori science; and a test based on it is an objective (...) test based on an objective standard.1. (shrink)
Two related asymmetries have been discussed in relation to the ethics of creating new lives: First, we seem to have strong moral reason to avoid creating lives that are not worth living, but no moral reason to create lives that are worth living. Second, we seem to have strong moral reason to improve the wellbeing of existing lives, but, again, no moral reason to create lives that are worth living. Both asymmetries have proven very difficult to account for in any (...) coherent moral framework. I propose an impersonal population axiology to underpin the asymmetries, which sidesteps the problematic issue of whether or not people can be harmed or benefited by creation or non-creation. This axiology yields perfect asymmetry from a deliberative perspective, in terms of expected value. The axiology also yields substantial asymmetry for large and realistic populations in terms of their actual value, beyond deliberative relevance. (shrink)
This paper clarifies the nature of moral experience, examines its evidential role in supporting moral judgments, and argues that moral experiences can be among the things having intrinsic value. Moral experience is compared with aesthetic experience and contrasted with its close relative, non-moral experience combined with moral beliefs. The concluding sections explore the case for the organicity of intrinsic value and the kind of role such value can play in grounding moral obligation.
This book explains and advances formal axiology as originally developed by Robert S. Hartman. Formal axiology identifies the general or formal patterns involved in (1) the meaning of "good" and other value concepts, (2) WHAT we value (value-objects), and (3) HOW we value (evaluations). It explains the rational, practical, and affective aspects of evaluation, and it shows how to make value judgments more rationally and effectively. It distinguishes between intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic values and evaluations, and it discusses (...) how they fall into a rational hierarchy of value. It argues for the intrinsic worth of unique conscious beings and develops an an axiological ethics in three value dimensions. It explores the search for a logical calculus of value, and it introduces applications of axiology to psychology, religion, aesthetics, and business. It is critical of Hartman's shortcomings,, builds upon his strengths, and extends his theory of value where it is incomplete. (shrink)
In this paper, I treat the question of the meta-axiological standing of Nietzsche's own values, in the service of which he criticizes morality. Does Nietzsche, I ask, regard his perfectionistic valorization of human excellence and cultural flourishing over other ideals to have genuine evaluative standing, in the sense of being correct, or at least adequate to a matter-of-fact? My goal in this paper is modest, but important: it is not to attribute to Nietzsche some sophisticated meta-axiological view, because I am (...) doubtful that he has one. It is, however, to show that Nietzsche's texts do not necessitate the sceptical meta-axiological positions that have been attributed to him in the recent secondary literature. And it is thereby to suggest that we need not give up on the idea that Nietzsche takes the values he champions to have genuine evaluative standing – not because he has some sophisticated realist theory to this effect, but in a more philosophically unreflective way. (shrink)
Discussions of the problem of evil presuppose and appeal to axiological and metaethical assumptions, but seldom pay adequate attention to those assumptions. I argue that certain theories of value are consistent with theistic answers to the argument from evil and that several other well-known theories of value, such as hedonism, are difﬁcult, if not impossible, to reconcile with theism. Although moral realism is the subject of lively debate in contemporary philosophy, almost all standard discussions of the problem of evil presuppose (...) the truth of moral realism. I explain the implications of several nonrealist theories of value for the problem of evil and argue that, if nonrealism is true, then we need to rethink and re-frame the entire discussion about the problem of evil. (shrink)
It is the contention of this paper that some progress in alleviating the social and environmental problems which are beginning to face Papua New Guinea can be achieved by supporting traditional Melanesian values through maintaining the customary system of communal land tenure. In accordance with this aim, I will proceed to contrast certain Western attitudes towards individual freedom, selfinterested behaviour, individual and communal interests and private ownership with attitudes and values expressed in the traditional Melanesian approach. In order to demonstrate (...) the latter, I will briefly touch upon the phenomenon of wantokism and indicate how the Melanesian values associated with this concept find their locus in the system of customary communal ownership. Subsequently, I will describe how the emergence of a cash economy and the attachment to Western gadgetry and products have effected injury to the environment and undermined values which have previously maintained Melanesian social cohesion. While admitting that little can be done to eradicate the desire for cash and the products it can buy, I suggest that Melanesian communities and the environment itself would receive more protection if future development in Papua New Guinea embraced a system which incorporated certain of the traditional Melanesian values through the preservation of the communal form of land tenure. Ultimately, I suggest a way in which customary communal land tenure can be integrated into the established Anglo-Australian legal system. (shrink)
The ethics of abortion considers whether abortion is immoral. Pro-choice philosophers think that it is not immoral, while pro-life philosophers think that it is. The axiology of abortion considers whether world would be better if the pro-choice or pro-life position is right. While much attention has been given to the ethics of abortion, there has been no attention given to the axiology of abortion. In this article, I seek to change that. I consider various arguments for thinking our (...) world would be better if the pro-choice position or the pro-life position is correct, ultimately concluding that it would be better if the pro-choice position is right. This is unfortunate, however, since there is no good reason to think the pro-choice position is correct. (shrink)
The prominent Russian philosopher Nikolai Lossky and his ex-student Nicolai Hartmann shared many metaphysical and epistemological views, and Lossky is likely to have influenced Hartmann in adopting several of them. But, in the case of axiological issues, it appears that Lossky also borrowed from the axiologies of Hartmann and the latter's Cologne colleague, Max Scheler. The links between the theories of values of Scheler and Hartmann have been studied abundantly, but never in relation to Lossky. In this paper, I examine (...) the manifold relationships – similarities, differences, borrowings, criticisms, and possible influences – between Lossky's axiology and those of Scheler and Hartmann on four key interweaving issues: (1) their ontological realism with regards to the objectivity of values, (2) their epistemological theories of the intuition of values, (3) their ontological definitions of "value", i.e., whether values are relations, qualities, essences, powers, meanings, etc., and (4) their theories of the stratification of values. (shrink)
Doppelt (1986,1990), Siegel (1990), and Rosenberg (1996) argue that the pivotal feature of Laudan's normative naturalism, namely his axiology, lacks a naturalistic foundation. In this paper I show that this objection turns on a misunderstanding of Laudan's use of the term 'naturalism'. Specifically, I argue that there are two important senses of naturalism running through Laudan's work. Once these two strands are made explicit, the objection raised by Doppelt and others simply disappears.
Guy Kahane asks an axiological question: what value would (or does) God’s existence bestow on the world? Supposing God’s existence is a matter of necessity, this axiological question faces a problem because answering it will require assessing the truth-value of counterpossibles. I argue that Kahane, Paul Moser, and Richard Davis and Paul Franks fail in their attempts to render the axiological question substantive. I then offer my own solution by bringing work in cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind to bear (...) on the possibility of assessing counterpossibles. I argue that humans can engage in counterpossible reasoning by “accepting” or “supposing” that the antecedent is true and “screening out” those beliefs that would result in contradictions when combined in inferences with the acceptance or supposition. These screened out propositions are not treated as false, but are ignored. I offer a three-valued logic for counterpossible reasoning. I conclude by outlining some implications for the axiological question. (shrink)
The Axiology of Theism The existential question about God asks whether God exists, but the axiology of theism addresses the question of what value-impact, if any, God’s existence does have on our world and its inhabitants. There are two prominent answers to the axiological question about God. Pro-theism is the view that God’s … Continue reading The Axiology of Theism →.
Formal Axiology and Its Critics consists of two parts, both of which present criticisms of the formal theory of values developed by Robert S. Hartman, replies to these criticisms, plus a short introduction to formal axiology.Part I consists of articles published or made public during the lifetime of Hartman to which he personally replied. It contains previously published replies to Hector Neri Castañeda, William Eckhardt, and Robert S. Brumbaugh, and previously unpublished replies to Charles Hartshorne, Rem B. Edwards, (...) Robert E. Carter, G.R. Grice, Nicholas Rescher, Robert W. Mueller, Gordon Welty, Pete Gunter, and George K. Plochmann in an unfinished but now completed article on which Hartman was working at the time of his death in 1973.Part II consists of articles presented at recent annual meetings of the R.S. Hartman Institute for Formal and Applied Axiology that continue to criticize and further develop Hartman's formal axiology. An article by Rem B. Edwards raises serious unanswered questions about formal axiology and ethics. Another by Frank G. Forrest shows how the formal value calculus based on set theory might answer these questions, and an article by Mark A. Moore points out weaknesses in the Hartman/Forrest value calculus and develops an alternative calculus based upon the mathematics of quantum mechanics. While recognizing that unsolved problems remain, the book intends to make the theoretical foundations and future promise of formal axiology much more secure. (shrink)
This book expounds the basic principles of Axiology as a major field of philosophical inquiry. Those principles can be discovered and demonstrated by scientific method. In treating scientific inquiry the book throws light on what values are and how they are known. It explores questions of Good and Bad, Ends and Means, and Appearance and Reality as applied to values. Axiology, argues the author, provides the basis for ethics as the science of oughtness: the power that a greater (...) good has over a lesser good in compelling our choices. The book concludes with a survey of efforts to establish Axiology as a science. (shrink)
The article is a presentation of Henryk Elzenberg’s system of formal axiology He is one of the most eminent Polish axiologists and moral philosophers of the 20th century. His system of philosophy of value is built on three pillars: (1) a clear differentiation between two concepts of value: utilitarian and perfect; (2) connection of the concept of perfect value with that of obligation by definition; (3) approaches obligation pertaining to being as oppose to deed. The starting point is differentiation (...) into utilitarian value (which wasn’t a value in axiological meaning) and perfect value, at the same time the main aim of his researches is the determination and analysis of the term perfect value “a valuable object in a perfect sense this is an object as it should be”. The perfect value contains, as it were, an imperative to fulfill it. Beauty, goodness and sanctity are the basic variations of perfect value. (shrink)
Eschewing the priority of either metaphysics or ethics, This paper addresses their common theme of axiology by proposing an alternative to psychologically based value theories to handle values in nature. Value, Understood as the richness of an entity's potential or realization of potential, Encompasses both extrinsic and intrinsic dimensions of natural values. Environmental ethics, Health, Personality theory, And other areas can be illumined by this conception of potentiality and of value as richness.
This dissertation seeks to describe axiology and soteriology as two different methods of inquiry which interpret intuitive relations to meaning by arguing that these methods are the very basis for inquiry itself. My aim is first to inquire about the essence of meaning , and second, to inquire whether this meaning is implied or intended . In other words, my claim is that an inquirer's metaphysical attitude towards the essence of meaning itself will determine an inquirer's method of inquiry. (...) Where an inquirer's attitude toward meaning is to find its essence as a mere universal, as if its origin was contained in 'timeless elements' that are intrinsically independent of any experiences, then the metaphysical attitude is such that the method of inquiry reveals itself as an attempt to discover meaning . By contrast, where an inquirer's attitude toward meaning is to accept its essence as a bare particular, as if its origin was contained in 'substantial elements' which are essentially dependent on experience, then the metaphysical attitude is such that the method of inquiry presents itself as an attempt at manufacturing meaning . Within this context, I describe metaphysics itself as every kind of ability that brings forth meaning, and claim that metaphysics itself inherits everything that is essentially brought forth as meaning. My claim is that although metaphysics is essential, it varies in relation to the attitude of its applicant: There are metaphysicians who claim to have knowledge of reality that originates from the noumena and whose concerns are 'relations of ideas,' and there are metaphysicians who claim to have empirical hypotheses which illustrate the phenomena and whose concerns are 'matters of fact.' I maintain that these attitudes evolve from a simple contrast: Either one's attitude applies metaphysics forgetfully, as 'intellect,' as a method for discovering the meaning, as to practice axiology; or one's attitude applies metaphysics joyfully, as 'performance,' as a method in manufacturing a meaning as in applying soteriology. (shrink)
Values are relational properties that can be defined only in relation to a goal-directed system. Biological values originated with living systems and subjective values originated with the origin of vertebrate (and possibly others’) mind through a conversion (subjectivization) of biological values. While this conversion is understandable in adaptive (functional) terms, the evolutionary mechanism whereby positive and negative meanings in the mind were assigned to molecular and/or neuronal configurations in the brain, so far defies our comprehension. Whatever their origin, the primary (...) subjective values are experienced by most if not all vertebrates, and the hominid conceptual values are all ultimately derived from experiential values. (shrink)
This was my first paper on virtue epistemology, and already highlights the connections with epistemic value and axiology which I would later develop. Although most accounts were either internalist or externalist in an exclusive sense, I suggest an inquiry-focused version through connections with the American pragmatism.
Advocates of the traditional argument from evil assume that an omnipotent and morally perfect being, God, would create a world of the greatest value possible. They dispute that this world is such a world. It is difficult to disagree. They go on to conclude that this world could not have been created by God. It is, however, possible consistently both to agree that God could have guaranteed the existence of a better world than this world and to reject the conclusion (...) that this world could not have been created by God. Specifically, one may argue that this world is not a world of the greatest value God could guarantee, not because there is some other world which is, but because there is no such world. After all, it is plausible that for any possible world, no matter how good, there is another possible world which is even better, that the range of values for possible worlds has no upper limit. If this is correct, then for any world God creates there is a better world God could have created. So the argument from evil collapses, since it is logically impossible even for an omnipotent god to create a particular world which is the best or equal best possible world. God cannot act in accordance with the prescription ‘Create the best world possible!’, since there is no such thing. Nor can God act in accordance with the prescription ‘Create the best world you can!’, since from the perspective of an omnipotent being there is no such thing. This no best world defence has been advanced by Peter Forrest, John McHarry and George Schlesinger. (shrink)
Normal 0 21 false false false ES-CO X-NONE X-NONE Procura-se com este artigo a posição da ética em relação com a análise lógica, no âmbito do “Circulo de Viena”, pelo pensamento de R. Carnap. Existem condições para determinar a aplicação do principio da verificabilidade, pela filosofia da linguagem, seguindo o pensamento de R. Carnap. Aqui serão apresentadas as lógicas deônticas, em orden á fundamentação lógica da Bioética, como forma de globalização lingüística da mesma.
The religious rites of Shia remain a mystery to Malaysia’s Sunnite majority. One such rite is the ziyarat. This essay highlights the ritualsconducted and performed by Malaysian Shi’ites during their seasonal pilgrimage to Iran and Iraq. Their rituals and behaviors during these pilgrimages to holy shrines in Iran and Iraq were documented from the standpoint of a cultural anthropologist. Rites from two sites, Mashad and Karbala, are presented in this study. Applying Herbert Blumer’s symbolic interactionism as a conceptual framework, and (...) Charles Brooks’s methodology through social interaction and participant-observation, this essay aims to analyze and understand their rites, and the values and significance of these rites. By doing so, the axiological aspects of the rites were observed and clarified, thus enabling non Shi’ite Muslims to perceive greyest area of Shia rites, as performed by Shi’ites from Malaysia in their pilgrimage to Iran and Iraq. (shrink)
Awareness of mortality is one of the key aspects of human existence. Death goes beyond the boundary of knowledge, mortality. However, it is actually experienced by man as something inevitable. Death is a fact – the end of life, and the experience of mortality is one of the borderline situations. In the essay, the author puts forward the thesis that the experience of mortality has a significant impact on the human understanding of values. Attitudes towards death be it fear, resignation, (...) indifference, fascination, mourning, sadness, despair after the loss of a loved one, or the desire for death, indicate the wealth of the world of value of axiological experience. The attitude of the person towards death, in some sense, is a test of our humanity, the principal value to which we refer most often. The author of the essay adopts the position of axiological relationalism, it implies that values are independent of the subject, they form a network of relational connections, but they are in a significant way connected with culture. The study of these connections: 1) with the world of people, 2) world of things, 3) internal relations that take place between values, allows us to get to know the complex structure of the world of values. In the article, the author analyzes in what sense mortality influences human understanding of values. (shrink)
Blaise Pascal is highly regarded as a religious moralist, but he has rarely been given his due as an ethical theorist. The goal of this article is to assemble Pascal's scattered thoughts on moral judgment and moral wrongdoing into an explicit, coherent account that can serve as the basis for further scholarly reflection on his ethics. On my reading, Pascal affirms an axiological, social-intuitionist account of moral judgment and moral wrongdoing. He argues that a moral judgment is an immediate, intuitive (...) perception of moral value that we willfully disregard in favor of the attractive, though self-deceptive, deliverances of our socially constructed imaginations. We can deceive ourselves so easily because our capacity to evaluate goods is broken, a dark legacy of the fall. In the article's concluding section, I briefly compare Pascal to contemporary ethicists and suggest directions for future research. (shrink)