Toni Rønnow‐Rasmussen, Personal Value, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011, 185 pp., US$ 75 , ISBN 9780199603787 [Book Review]

Dialectica 69 (2):221-231 (2015)
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Personal Values is a delightful and enlightening read. It is teeming with novel insights, ground-breaking distinctions, rich examples, new delineations of the field, refreshing historical reminders, inventive arguments, unprecedented connections, identifications of neglected difficulties, and pioneering proposals. I shall focus here on three of these insights, which are illustrative of the pervasive scrupulousness and inventiveness of the book. The first is that there is a distinction between the supervenience base of values and their constitutive grounds. The second is that FA is admittedly circular (because pro-attitudes have values as formal objects), but that this circularity is benign. The third proposal is that one important kind of for- someome-sake’s attitude⎯prototypically, love⎯is such that it is not justified by the properties it represents its object as exemplifying. This is a small sample of claims not meant to be representative of the book. The reason I have chosen to discuss these in particular is that, while finding them plausible and significant, I believe that each raises a worry that Rønnow-Rasmussen fails to address properly. I shall tentatively suggest a possible solution in each case.

Author's Profile

Olivier Massin
Université de Neuchâtel


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