Chapter

On the Objectivity of Values

Andrei Marmor

in Positive Law and Objective Values

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780198268970
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713187 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268970.003.0008
On the Objectivity of Values

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Despite the fact that various aspects of the objectivity of law do not necessarily depend on the objectivity of morality or of values in general, the objectivity of values is a pressing issue for anyone interested in a critical perspective on law and other social institutions. This chapter takes this issue up directly and suggests an account of the objectivity of values, arguing that values are relational properties. The chapter shows that when objectivity is detached, as it should be, from a commitment to metaphysical realism, an objective stance about moral values seems to be more convincing than its subjectivist alternatives, particularly with respect to the reasons for valuing. Four main arguments underlying the scepticism about the objectivity of values are considered: objectivity involves dubious metaphysics; objectivity involves dubious epistemology; the distinction between reason and passion; cultural relativism.

Keywords: objectivity; realism; morality; values; reasons; relational properties; metaphysics; epistemology; cultural relativism; passion

Chapter.  12085 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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