Toni Rönnow-Rasmussen: "Against Value Monism"

  • Date: –13:00
  • Location: Seminar through Zoom (contact Folke Tersman for link and details)
  • Organiser: Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Folke Tersman
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Practical Philosophy

Toni Rönnow-Rasmussen, Lund University: "Against Value Monism"

Sometimes we ascribe value to things (understood in a wide sense) that are means to other valuable things (so-called instrumental values). Other times we have in mind things that are valued for their own sake (so-called non-instrumental values). People have thought for instance that pleasure, knowledge, and/or friendship (to mention only a few things) carry such final (i.e. non-instrumental) value; these things have in general been considered to be finally good, i.e. good for their own sake. There is also another important category of value: People often evaluate what is good for them. Well-being is typically associated with what is good-for us in a non-instrumental way. Although we use our language to characterize things as being good for its own sake or as being good for someone or something, there is little agreement on whether we should go on doing so. Influential philosophers have argued that one of these value notions is somehow spurious; it is one that we could do without. I shall presents some difficulties for those who want to maintain that we can rest content with only one of these value notions—be it good or good-for. My arguments are not conclusive but should rather be seen as an attempt to make dualism into a more plausible position than any of the two value monist positions.