Value Theory

Author(s): Francesco Orsi


What is it for a car, a piece of art or a person to be good, bad or better than another? In this first book-length introduction to value theory, Francesco Orsi explores the nature of evaluative concepts used in everyday thinking and speech and in contemporary philosophical discourse. The various dimensions, structures and connections that value concepts express are interrogated with clarity and incision. Orsi provides a systematic survey of both classic texts including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Moore and Ross and an array of contemporary theorists. The reader is guided through the moral maze of value theory with everyday examples and thought experiments. Rare stamps, Napoleon's hat, evil demons, and Kant's good will are all considered in order to probe our intuitions, question our own and philosophers' assumptions about value, and, ultimately, understand better what we want to say when we talk about value.


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A systematic introduction to concepts of value: good, bad, better, worse, valuable, and others, examining dimensions of value expressed in ordinary usage and philosophical discourse.

Francesco Orsi is Senior Research Fellow in Practical Philosophy at the University of Tartu, Estonia.

1. Value and Normativity 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Which Evaluations? 1.3 The Idea of Value Theory 1.4 Value and Normativity 1.5 Overview 1.6 Meta-ethical Neutrality 1.7 Value Theory: The Questions 2. Meet the Values: Intrinsic, Final & Co. 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Final and Unconditional Value: Some Philosophical Examples 2.3 Intrinsic Value and Final Value 2.4 The Reduction to Facts 2.5 Intrinsic and Conditional Value 2.6 Elimination of Extrinsic Value? 2.7 Summary 3. The Challenge against Absolute Value 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Geach and Attributive Goodness 3.3 Foot and the Virtues 3.4 Thomson and Goodness in a Way 3.5 Zimmerman's Ethical Goodness 3.6 A Better Reply: Absolute Value and Fitting Attitudes 3.7 Summary 4. Personal Value 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Moore on Good and Good For 4.3 Good For and Fitting Attitudes 4.4 Moore Strikes Back? 4.5 Agent-relative Value 4.6 Impersonal/Personal and Agent-neutral/Agent-relative 4.7 Summary 5. The Chemistry of Value 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Supervenience and Other Relations 5.3 Organic Unities 5.4 Alternatives to Organic Unities: Virtual Value 5.5 Alternatives to Organic Unities: Conditional Value 5.6 Holism and Particularism 5.7 Summary 6. Value Relations 6.1 Introduction 6.2 The Trichotomy Thesis and Incomparability 6.3 A Fitting Attitude Argument for Incomparability 6.4 Against Incomparability: Epistemic Limitations 6.5 Against Incomparability: Parity 6.6 Parity and Choice 6.7 Parity and Incomparability 6.8 Summary 7. How Do I Favour Thee? 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Three Dimensions of Favouring 7.3 Responses to Value: Maximizing 7.4 Two Concepts of Intrinsic Value? 7.5 Summary 8. Value and the Wrong Kind of Reasons 8.1 Introduction 8.2 The Fitting Attitude Account and its Rivals 8.3 The Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem 8.4 The Structure of the Problem and an Initial Response 8.5 Reasons for What? 8.6 Characteristic Concerns and Shared Reasons 8.7 Circular Path: No-Priority 8.8 Summary

General Fields

  • : 9781472532923
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic
  • : January 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Francesco Orsi
  • : Paperback
  • : 184