The Objectivity of Values

Donald Davidson

in Problems of Rationality

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780198237549
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601378 | DOI:
The Objectivity of Values

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Clarifies and defends a thesis that is implied by the conclusions of Ch. 2, namely, that values are as objective as propositional attitudes, since interpretation requires a shared framework of such attitudes and evaluations, which in turn constitutes a necessary condition for disagreement about values. Juxtaposes this thesis to two stances it should not be confused with, namely, relativism and realism about values. The author's claims do not amount to a value relativism, because the introduced relativisms to, e.g. time, place, and culture, merely stipulate what interpreters must come to understand in order to know whether they disagree or not; values themselves are as objective as the propositional attitudes that function in the processes of evaluation. Neither does objectivism about values amount to a value realism — the ontological position that values exist.

Keywords: interpretation; objectivity; ontology; propositional attitudes; realism; relativism; values

Chapter.  8374 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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