How Final and Non-Final Valuing Differ

The Journal of Ethics 26 (4):683-704 (2022)
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How does valuing something for its own sake differ from valuing an entity for the sake of other things? Although numerous answers come to mind, many of them rule out substantive views about what is valuable for its own sake. I therefore seek to provide a more neutral way to distinguish the two valuing attitudes. Drawing from existing accounts of valuing, I argue that the two can be distinguished in terms of a conative-volitional feature. Focusing first on “non-final valuing”—i.e. valuing_ x_ for the sake of something else—I argue that it involves adopting certain reasons on account of a desire for _x_ to contribute to other things. I then show how this contrasts final valuing. The result, I argue, is a plausible account of how the two modes of valuing differ that leaves open substantive views about what all can be valued for its own sake. This is helpful because it develops a popular methodology used to explore the value of a wide range of things, including natural entities, family heirlooms, and artworks, as well as, more broadly, entities that might have “extrinsic final value.”

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Levi Tenen
Kettering University


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