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Metaphor and Moral Experience$
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A. E. Denham

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240105

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240105.001.0001

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Values and Valuing

Values and Valuing

(p.35) 2 Values and Valuing
Metaphor and Moral Experience

A. E. Denham

Oxford University Press

The combination of Platonic requirements on objectivity and those imposed by the role of values in ordinary practical reasoning appears to be fatal, at least, for any theory of value which eschews appeal to transcendental postulates. Plato's transcendental metaphysics — his theory of forms — yields a conception of moral values which radically distances them from familiar human experience. Were values like Plato's forms, they would have to be eternal, invariant, and wholly mind-independent; their existence and specific character could be in no way determined by one's (merely finite and infinitely variable) evaluative beliefs and attitudes. This chapter also discusses judgement-dependent concepts of moral value and presents an analogy between values and secondary qualities.

Keywords:   moral values, Plato, secondary qualities, judgement-dependent concepts, objectivity, theory of forms, moral judgements

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