Intrinsic Value, Moral Obligation, and Practical EthicsRobert Audi (University of Notre Dame, Australian Catholic University)
Room 5.15, Level 5
250 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne 3002
The theory of value has usually taken as basic the division of values into intrinsic and instrumental. My own theory, as developed in *The Good in the Right* and other works, is tripartite. I describe a kind of non-instrumental value—inherent value—that is non-instrumental but, unlike purely instrumental value, a source of non-instrumental reasons for action. With this structure in view, this seminar will describe a pluralistic account of value that enables us to see the relation between value and obligation—hence between the good and the right—more clearly than is otherwise possible. In this light, the possibility of a value-based intuitionism can be appraised. I show that this is possible without a maximizing consequentialism, though it also makes a qualified version of such a view plausible provided one understands intrinsic value organically. The view also lends itself to supporting the normative ethics Ross proposed through his famous list of moral principles. These are shown to need some qualification, and they are extended by the addition of two further principles, one centering on liberty, the other on the obligations that go, not with the matter of action—with what acts we perform—but with their manner: with how we perform them.
May 25, 2014, 5:00am +10:00