Dispositional Theories of Value
Johnston (Mark)
Source: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes, Vol. 63 (1989), pp. 89-111+113-137+139-174
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. As a recently published letter reveals, the same David Hume who seemed to suggest that distinctions of value were mere projections of our sentiments when he wrote
      Vice and virtue therefore may be compared to sounds, colours, heat and cold, which, according to the modem philosophy are not qualities in the object but perceptions in the mind.
    also wrote
      Philosophy scarce ever advances a greater paradox in the eyes of the people, than when it affirms that snow is neither cold nor white: fire hot nor red.
  2. Taken together, and without prejudicing the interpretation of Hume, these quotations could serve as the motto of those who have attempted to defend a realism about value by way of an analogy with secondary qualities and with colour in particular. The aim of the analogists has been to undermine the characteristic claim of sentimentalist projectivism about value, namely that value is not a genuine feature of persons, acts, states of affairs, etc., but only appears so because we mistake features of our evaluative responses for features of such things.
  3. The leading idea of the analogists has been to show that by the same standards of genuineness it would follow that colour is not a genuine feature of surfaces.


Three way Symposium: "Dispositional Theories of Value". See also:-

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