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Hedonism, Preferentialism, and Value Bearers

Author

Summary, in English

Hedonism and preferentialism are two popular theories about what has final value, i.e. is valuable for its own sake. The latter theory is customarily portrayed as the wider of these, in that it ascribes value to much more than pleasures, viz., to any object of a final preference. By examining the metaphysical underpinnings of these views, it is argued that a fundamental issue between these theories concerns the question “what are the fundamental bearers of final value?” While hedonism is here defined as the view that ascribes final value only to concrete sensations of pleasure, preferentialism is initially understood as claiming that final value accrues to the objects of preferences. Given that such objects are often assumed to be abstract entities, hedonists might launch a possible argument against preferentialism, viz., that since value on a preferentialist reading only accrues to abstract objects (states of affairs), preferentialists are debarred from valuing what hedonists value (concrete sensations). Various replies with which a preferentialist might counter this objection are examined. However, it is concluded that these suggestions are not convincing.

Publishing year

2002

Language

English

Pages

463-472

Publication/Series

Journal of Value Inquiry

Volume

36

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Springer

Topic

  • Philosophy

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0022-5363