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  1. Rawlsian Self-Respect.Cynthia Stark - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford, UK: pp. 238-261.
    Critics have argued that Rawls's account of self-respect is equivocal. I show, first, that Rawls in fact relies upon an unambiguous notion of self-respect, though he sometimes is unclear as to whether this notion has merely instrumental or also intrinsic value. I show second that Rawls’s main objective in arguing that justice as fairness supports citizens’ self-respect is not, as many have thought, to show that his principles support citizens’ self-respect generally, but to show that his principles counter the effects (...)
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  2. The Principles and the Presumption of Equality.Stefan Gosepath - 2015 - In Carina Fourie, Fabian Schuppert & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer (eds.), Social Equality. On What It Means to Be Equals. Oxford, Vereinigtes Königreich: pp. 167-185.
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  3. Do We Matter in The Cosmos?Nick Hughes - 2017 - Aeon Magazine 2017.
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  4. Normative Reasons as Good Bases.Alex Gregory - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2291-2310.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a (...)
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  5. Dignity at the Limit: Jean-Luc Nancy on the Possibility of Incommensurable Worth.Bryan Lueck - 2016 - Continental Philosophy Review 49 (3):309-323.
    Dignity, according to some recent arguments, is a useless concept, giving vague expression to moral intuitions that are better captured by other, better defined concepts. In this paper, I defend the concept of dignity against such skeptical arguments. I begin with a description of the defining features of the Kantian conception of dignity. I then examine one of the strongest arguments against that conception, advanced by Arthur Schopenhauer in On the Basis of Morality. After considering some standard accounts of dignity, (...)
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  6. Is Art Worth More Than the Truth?Leon Surette - 1994 - Journal of Value Inquiry 28 (2):181-192.
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Agent-Relative Value
  1. The Identity-Enactment Account of Associative Duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  2. Metaethical Relativism.Stojanovic Isidora - 2017 - In David Plunkett & Tristram McPherson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford: Routledge. pp. 119-134.
    Although relativism may be said to be one of the oldest doctrines in philosophy, dating back to the teachings of Protagoras in the 5th century B.C., when it comes to contemporary philosophy, there is no consensus on what makes a view qualify as "relativist". The problem is particularly accute in metaethics, since most of the views that up to a decade ago were described as “relativist” would be more accurately described as "contextualist" or even “expressivist” in light of the distinctions (...)
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  3. The Saving/Creating Distinction and the Axiology of the Cost–Benefit Approach to Neonatal Medicine.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (8):29-31.
    The aim of this commentary is to discuss the axiology of the cost–benefit approach assumed by Travis Rieder (2017) to analyze medical decision making in the case of extremely preterm infants.
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  4. The Pen, the Dress, and the Coat: A Confusion in Goodness.Miles Tucker - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1911-1922.
    Conditionalists say that the value something has as an end—its final value—may be conditional on its extrinsic features. They support this claim by appealing to examples: Kagan points to Abraham Lincoln’s pen, Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen to Lady Diana’s dress, and Korsgaard to a mink coat. They contend that these things may have final value in virtue of their historical or societal roles. These three examples have become familiar: many now merely mention them to establish the conditionalist position. But the widespread (...)
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  5. Still Lives: The History and Philosophy of Mourning Texts.Veronica Alfano & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Routledge.
    “Call no one happy until they are dead.” “Never speak ill of the dead.” If we still heed the injunctions of Solon and Chilon of Sparta, then obituaries, which represent a prominent way of expressing the human universal of grief, are a resource for philosophical anthropology. Philosophers have emphasized that we can determine what counts as a virtue for a given type of person in a given cultural context by analyzing what people say about the dead (Zagzebski 1996, p. 135). (...)
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  6. Impersonal Value, Universal Value, and the Scope of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):999-1027.
    Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
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  7. Resisting Buck-Passing Accounts of Prudential Value.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):77-91.
    This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...)
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Moral Worth
  1. The Identity-Enactment Account of Associative Duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  2. Moral Offsetting.Thomas Foerster - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):617-635.
    This paper explores the idea of moral offsetting: the idea that good actions can offset bad actions in a way roughly analogous to carbon offsetting. For example, a meat eater might try to offset their consumption of meat by donating to an animal welfare charity. In this paper, I clarify the idea of moral offsetting, consider whether the leading moral theories and theories of moral worth are consistent with the possibility of moral offsetting, and consider potential benefits of moral offsetting. (...)
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  3. Moral Worth Requires a Fundamental Concern for What Ultimately Matters.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    An act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the same as what would have motivated a perfectly virtuous agent to perform it. On one of the two leading accounts of moral worth, an act that accords with duty has moral worth if and only if the agent’s reason for performing it is the fact that it’s obligatory. On the other, an act that accords with duty has moral worth (...)
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  4. From an Axiological Standpoint.Miles Tucker - 2019 - Ratio 32 (2):131-138.
    I maintain that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. I examine three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is non‐instrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or non‐derivative value. In each case, I argue that the concept of final (...)
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  5. Testimonial Worth.Andrew Peet - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper introduces and argues for the hypothesis that judgments of testimonial worth (that is, judgments of the quality of character an agent displays when testifying)are central to our practice of normatively appraising speech. It is argued that judgments of testimonial worth are central both to the judgement that an agent has lied, and to the acceptance of testimony. The hypothesis that, in lying, an agent necessarily displays poor testimonial worth, is shown to resolve a new puzzle about lying, and (...)
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  6. Sosa on Epistemic Value: A Kantian Obstacle.Matthew McGrath - 2019 - Synthese.
    In recent work, Sosa proposes a comprehensive account of epistemic value based on an axiology for attempts. According to this axiology, an attempt is better if it succeeds, better still if it is apt (i.e., succeeds through competence), and best if it is fully apt, (i.e., guided to aptness by apt beliefs that it would be apt). Beliefs are understood as attempts aiming at the truth. Thus, a belief is better if true, better still if apt, and best if fully (...)
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  7. Profound Intellectual Disability and the Bestowment View of Moral Status.Simo Vehmas & Benjamin Curtis - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (3):505-516.
    This article engages with debates concerning the moral worth of human beings with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMDs). Some argue that those with such disabilities are morally less valuable than so-called normal human beings, whereas others argue that all human beings have equal moral value and so each group of humans ought to be treated with equal concern. We will argue in favor of a reconciliatory view that takes points from opposing camps in the debates about the moral worth (...)
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  8. Creditworthiness and Matching Principles.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol 7. Oxford University Press.
    You are creditworthy for φ-ing only if φ-ing is the right thing to do. Famously though, further conditions are needed too – Kant’s shopkeeper did the right thing, but is not creditworthy for doing so. This case shows that creditworthiness requires that there be a certain kind of explanation of why you did the right thing. The reasons for which you act – your motivating reasons – must meet some further conditions. In this paper, I defend a new account of (...)
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  9. Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  10. Still Lives: The History and Philosophy of Mourning Texts.Veronica Alfano & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Routledge.
    “Call no one happy until they are dead.” “Never speak ill of the dead.” If we still heed the injunctions of Solon and Chilon of Sparta, then obituaries, which represent a prominent way of expressing the human universal of grief, are a resource for philosophical anthropology. Philosophers have emphasized that we can determine what counts as a virtue for a given type of person in a given cultural context by analyzing what people say about the dead (Zagzebski 1996, p. 135). (...)
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  11. Supererogation, Inside and Out: Toward an Adequate Scheme for Common Sense Morality.Paul McNamara - 2011 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume I. Oxford University Press. pp. 202-235.
    The standard analysis of supererogation is that of optional actions that are praiseworthy to perform, but not blameworthy to skip. Widespread assumptions are that action beyond the call is at least necessarily equivalent to supererogation ("The Equivalence") and that forgoing certain agent-favoring prerogatives entails supererogation (“The Corollary”). I argue that the classical conception of supererogation is not reconcilable with the Equivalence or the Corollary, and that the classical analysis of supererogation is seriously defective. I sketch an enriched conceptual scheme, “Doing (...)
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  12. The Ethical Patiency of Cultural Heritage.R. F. J. Seddon - 2011 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Current treatments of cultural heritage as an object of moral concern (whether it be the heritage of mankind or of some particular group of people) have tended to treat it as a means to ensure human wellbeing: either as ‘cultural property’ or ‘cultural patrimony’, suggesting concomitant rights of possession and exclusion, or otherwise as something which, gaining its ethical significance from the roles it plays in people’s lives and the formation of their identities, is the beneficiary at most of indirect (...)
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  13. Achieving Moral Progress Despite Moral Regress.Ben Dixon - 2005 - Social Philosophy Today 21:157-172.
    Moral progress and some of the conditions under which groups can make it is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I address a problem arising from the use of pluralistic criteria for determining moral progress. Pluralistic criteria can allow for judgments that moral progress has taken place where there is causally related moral regression. Indeed, an otherwise well-argued pluralistic theory put forward by Michelle Moody-Adams allows for such conflicting judgments. I argue, however, that the way in which Moody-Adams handles (...)
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  14. Addressing the 'Global Basic Structure' in the Ethics of International Health Research Involving Human Subjects.Janet Borgerson - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Research 30:235-249.
    The context of international health research involving human subjects, and this should appear obvious, is the human community. As such, basic questions of how human beings should be treated by other human beings, particularly in situations of unequal power – e.g., in the form of control, choice, or opportunity – lay at the foundations of related ethical discourse when ethics are discussed at all. I trace a narrative that follows upon a recent revision process of international guidelines for biomedical research (...)
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  15. (Inter) Subjective-Situated Moral Ought: Zahavi’s Reconstruction of Husserl’s Metaphysics of Intersubjectivity and its Ethical Implications.Mark Anthony Dacela - manuscript
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  16. DNA, Masterpieces, and Abortion: Shifting the Grounds of the Debate.Reed Richter - manuscript
    Writers, philosophers, and theologians have oft made the comparison between being a mature human being and a masterpiece work of art or design. Employing the analogy between the creation of artistic value and the creation of full-fledged human value, this paper stakes out a middle ground between pro-choice and pro-life by considering a more general account of value and the relationship between being a potential X and a mature implementation of X's potential. I argue that the value of a potential (...)
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Neutral Value
  1. The Saving/Creating Distinction and the Axiology of the Cost–Benefit Approach to Neonatal Medicine.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (8):29-31.
    The aim of this commentary is to discuss the axiology of the cost–benefit approach assumed by Travis Rieder (2017) to analyze medical decision making in the case of extremely preterm infants.
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  2. Neutrality, Partiality, and Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):7-25.
    Discussion of whether values and norms are neutral or not has mainly appeared in works on the nature of prudential rationality and morality. Little systematic has yet appeared in the up and coming field of the meaning of life. What are the respects in which the value of meaningfulness is neutral or, in contrast, partial, relational, or ‘biased’? In this article, I focus strictly on answering this question. First, I aim to identify the salient, and perhaps exhaustive, respects in which (...)
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  3. Impersonal Value, Universal Value, and the Scope of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):999-1027.
    Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
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  4. The Locative Analysis of Good For Formulated and Defended.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (JESP) 6 (1):1-27.
    THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...)
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The Good
  1. Wokół koncepcji dobra we współczesnym neoarystotelizmie anglosaskim: normatywność, działanie, praktyki.Piotr Machura - 2019 - Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
    Praca poświęcona jest naturze dobrego życia. Zastosowanie odnowionej w połowie XX wieku myśli Arystotelesa pozwala tu uchwycić i przezwyciężyć zarówno miałkość propozycji „przemysłu szczęścia”, jak i akademickiej filozofii. Autor interpretuje koncepcję starożytnego filozofa przy użyciu współczesnych narzędzi filozoficznych wskazując jak ich zastosowanie pozwala uchwycić węzłowe problemy życia (jak pytanie o szczęście i sens) oraz wskazać te metody myślenia, które umożliwiają krytyczny namysł nad rzeczywistością społeczną. Pytanie o dobro jest zatem zarówno o to, jak kształtować własne życie, ale też jak myśleć (...)
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  2. Angelique: An Angel in Distress, Morality in Crisis.Necip Fikri Alican - 2018 - Dialogue and Universalism 28 (2):9–48.
    Michael H. Mitias argues that friendship is a central moral value constituting an integral part of the good life and therefore deserving a prominent place in ethical theory. He consequently calls upon ethicists to make immediate and decisive adjustments toward accommodating what he regards as a neglected organic relationship between friendship and morality. This is not a fanciful amendment to our standard conception of morality but a radical proposal grounded in a unifying vision to recapture the right way of doing (...)
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  3. Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment: An Idea to Help Save the World.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Ethical Record 123 (1):27-30.
    Natural science, properly understood, provides us with the methodological key to the salvation of humanity. First, we need to acknowledge that the actual aims of science are profoundly problematic, in that they make problematic assumptions about metaphysics, values and the social use of science. Then we need to represent these aims in the form of a hierarchy of aims, which become increasingly unproblematic as one goes up the hierarchy; as result we create a framework of relatively unproblematic aims and methods, (...)
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  4. Effort and Achievement.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (1):27-51.
    Achievements have recently begun to attract increased attention from value theorists. One recurring idea in this budding literature is that one important factor determining the magnitude or value of an achievement is the amount of effort the achiever invested. The aim of this paper is to present the most plausible version of this idea. This advances the current state of debate where authors are invoking substantially different notions of effort and are thus talking past each other. While the concept of (...)
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  5. Local Communities and Globalization in Caritas in Veritate.Jeffery Nicholas - 2011 - Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 1 (1):Article 5.
    Caritas in Veritate leaves us with a question, Does Benedict XVI see politics as a practice or as an institution? How one answers this question has tremendous implications for how one should address the inequalities of contemporary society and the increasing globalization of the world. Alasdair MacIntyre, for instance, would consider politics to be primarily a practice with a good internal to its activities. This good consists in rational deliberation with others about the common good. If one considers politics an (...)
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  6. The Book of Ruth: Solidarity, Kindness, and Peace.Frederick W. Guyette - 2013 - Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 3 (1):Article 3.
    I propose a reading of The Book of Ruth that takes seriously the pastoral concern for refugees, migrants, and their families that was embodied in the life and teaching of Pope John Paul II.The Book of Ruth models virtues and practices that can help build up a society in solidarity, kindness, and peace. Ruth’s decision to stand beside Naomi demonstrates the value of solidarity in creating a hopeful future for families and communities. Naomi’s role in bringing Ruth and Boaz together (...)
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  7. The Common Good, Rights, and Catholic Social Thought: Prolegomena to Any Future Account of Common Goods.Jeffery L. Nicholas - 2015 - Solidarity: The Journal for Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 5 (1):Article 4.
    The argument between Jacques Maritain and Charles de Koninck over the primacy of the common good is well known. Yet, even though Mary Keys has carefully arbitrated this debate, it still remains problematic for Alasdair MacIntyre, particularly because of the role rights play in both Maritain and Catholic Social Thought. I examine Keys’ argument and, in addition, Deborah Wallace’s account of MacIntyre’s criticism of rights in Catholic social thought. I argue, in the end, that what Maritain, and in consequence Keys (...)
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  8. Fairness and the Strengths of Agents' Claims.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):347-360.
    John Broome has proposed a theory of fairness according to which fairness requires that agents’ claims to goods be satisfied in proportion to the relative strength of those claims. In the case of competing claims for a single indivisible good, Broome argues that what fairness requires is the use of a weighted lottery as a surrogate to satisfying the competing claims: the relative chance of each claimant's winning the lottery should be set to the relative strength of each claimant's claim. (...)
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  9. What Is Goodness Good For?Christian Piller - 2015 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies Normative Ethics: Volume 4. pp. 179-209.
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  10. Review of Meaning In Life: An Analytic Study by Thaddeus Metz. [REVIEW]Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - Ethics 125 (2).
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  11. Putting Together Morality and Well-Being.Ruth Chang - 2004 - In Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.), Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 118--158.
    Conflicts between morality and prudence are often thought to pose a special problem because the normativity of moral considerations derives from a distinctively moral point of view, while the normativity of prudential considerations derives from a distinctively prudential point of view, and there is no way to ‘put together’ the two points of view. I argue that talk of points of view is a red herring, and that for any ‘prumoral’ conflict there is some or other more comprehensive value – (...)
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  12. Work and Ideals.Desh Raj Sirswal - 2012 - In Rohit Puri (ed.), Integral Management :The school of Management Theory.
    Peoples often question the relevance of spiritualism in their modern life. They want to know why they should know what they are within and why should they bother to change themselves. With rapid changes in the socio-economic aspects of life all over the world, peoples are under intense pressure, and are seeking something, which will help them to successfully deal with union with the universal and transcendent existence. Today many people are shifting to spiritual approach to life but relevant number (...)
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  13. Ambivalence and the Inconsistency of the Good.Simon D. Feldman & Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In Dimitria Gatzia & Berit Brogaard (eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Ambivalence: Being of Two Minds. Routledge.
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  14. The Locative Analysis of Good For Formulated and Defended.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (JESP) 6 (1):1-27.
    THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...)
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  15. Pain's Evils.Adam Swenson - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (2):197-216.
    The traditional accounts of pain’s intrinsic badness assume a false view of what pains are. Insofar as they are normatively significant, pains are not just painful sensations. A pain is a composite of a painful sensation and a set of beliefs, desires, emotions, and other mental states. A pain’s intrinsic properties can include inter alia depression, anxiety, fear, desires, feelings of helplessness, and the pain’s meaning. This undermines the traditional accounts of pain’s intrinsic badness. Pain is intrinsically bad in two (...)
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  16. The Consistency of Qualitative Hedonism and the Value of (at Least Some) Malicious Pleasures.Guy Fletcher - 2008 - Utilitas 20 (4):462-471.
    In this article, I examine two of the standard objections to forms of value hedonism. The first is the common claim, most famously made by Bradley and Moore, that Mill's qualitative hedonism is inconsistent. The second is the apparent problem for quantitative hedonism in dealing with malicious pleasures. I argue that qualitative hedonism is consistent, even if it is implausible on other grounds. I then go on to show how our intuitions about malicious pleasure might be misleading.
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Varieties of Moral Value, Misc
  1. Mapping Human Values: Enhancing Social Marketing Through Obituary Data-Mining.Mark Alfano, Andrew Higgins & Jacob Levernier - forthcoming - In Eda Gurel-Atay & Lynn Kahle (eds.), Social and Cultural Values in a Global and Digital Age. Routledge.
    Obituaries are an especially rich resource for identifying people’s values. Because obituaries are succinct and explicitly intended to summarize their subjects’ lives, they may be expected to include only the features that the author(s) find most salient, not only for themselves as relatives or friends of the deceased, but also to signal to others in the community the socially-recognized aspects of the deceased’s character. We report three approaches to the scientific study of virtue and value through obituaries. We begin by (...)
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