The Interpersonal Comparison of Values

Donald Davidson

in Problems of Rationality

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

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Considers the question of the extent to which objective interpersonal value judgements are possible, i.e. to which extent it is possible to objectively judge a state of affairs that involves the interests of two or more people. The author's answer is not straightforward: the previous chapters have established that beliefs and desires are inextricably linked to value judgements, so that if an interpreter is to understand the propositional attitudes of a subject, she must fit them to some degree into her own scheme, which includes her own value judgements. Consequently, the basis for an interpersonal comparison of value judgements is inherent in the very activity of interpretation, which does not decide the question of, but gives content to the idea, of an objective comparison of interpersonal value judgements.

Keywords: beliefs; desires; interests; interpersonal judgements; interpretation; objectivity; propositional attitudes; values

Chapter.  6939 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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