Dimensions of Value

John Kekes

in The Human Condition

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588886
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191595448 | DOI:
Dimensions of Value

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The system of values of the agent's society forms the external standard for judging the relative importance of the agent's commitments. There are three dimensions of value: universally human, cultural that vary with societies and times; and personal that vary with individuals. Each dimension has a standard for judging the adequacy of the relevant values. Human values are adequate if they satisfy basic needs; cultural values are adequate if they provide a system of values that sustains the allegiance of the inhabitants of a society; and personal values are adequate if the conceptions of well‐being formed out of them enable individuals to live satisfying lives. These values conflict and our well‐being requires some way of settling their conflicts, but there is no universal principle for settling the conflicts; it can only be done by attending to the concrete features of particular conflicts. These features vary with circumstances and values.

Keywords: universal; cultural and personal values; modes of evaluation; standards of evaluation; basic needs; cultural identity; conception of well‐being; absolutism; relativism; individualism

Chapter.  8655 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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