Importance, Value, and Causal Impact

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Many believe that because we’re so small, we must be utterly insignificant on the cosmic scale. But whether this is so depends on what it takes to be important. On one view, what matters for importance is the difference to value that something makes. On this view, what determines our cosmic importance isn’t our size, but what else of value is out there. But a rival view also seems plausible: that importance requires sufficient causal impact on the relevant scale; since we have no such impact on the grand scale, that would entail our cosmic insignificance. I argue that despite appearances, causal impact is neither necessary nor sufficient for importance. All that matters is impact on value. Since parts can have non-causal impact on the value of the wholes that contain them, this means that we might have great impact on the grandest scale without ever leaving our little planet.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
KAHIVA
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-09-28
View other versions
Added to PP index
2021-09-28

Total views
40 ( #60,209 of 65,629 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #21,325 of 65,629 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.