Chapter

The Case Against Objective Value

Alan H. Goldman

in Reasons from Within

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199576906
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722288 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576906.003.0005
The Case Against Objective Value

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Objective values need not be ‘queer’ or intrinsically motivating, but they would require motivation from us. This chapter argues first that we are not typically motivated in that way and that it makes no sense to demand that all our motivations be other than they are. Second, there is no way to measure degrees of supposed objective values in objects or lives, or states such as pleasure and pain. Third, when we abstract from our actual personal concerns and adopt the point of view of the objective universe, values disappear. Finally, we need not appeal to objective values in order to explain how we can lead good and meaningful lives. Our lives are good when we are satisfying our deepest concerns; and they are meaningful when the events within them form intelligible narratives.

Keywords: objective value; motivation; pleasure; pain; good life; meaningful life

Chapter.  30714 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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