Rossian totalism about intrinsic value

Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2069-2086 (2016)
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This paper defends a novel account of how to determine the intrinsic value of possible worlds. Section 1 argues that a highly intuitive and widely accepted account leads to undesirable consequences. Section 2 takes the first of two steps towards a novel account by clarifying and defending a view about value-contribution that is based on some of W. D. Ross’ claims about the value of pleasure. Section 3 takes the second step by clarifying and defending a view about value-suppression that is based on Ross’ claims about the interplay between prima-facie duties. Section 4 states and defends the account that I call Rossian Totalism. According to this account, the atoms of intrinsic value within a world only sometimes contribute their intrinsic value to the value of that world.

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Luis R. G. Oliveira
University of Houston


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