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Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 5 HT11

Event Name Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 5 HT11
Start Date 14th Feb 2011 4:30pm
End Date 14th Feb 2011 6:30pm
Duration 2 hours

Graham Oddie (Colorado) 'On desires as value data' to be held in the Lecture Room, 10 Merton Street, Oxford - Seminars in Moral Philosophy webpage


Cognitivists about value who eschew nihilism and skepticism, need value data. If there are facts about value then to get to know them we would need more than the constraints of pure rationality, like consistency. We need some reliable data points. Recently I defended a simple thesis about the nature of such value data: namely, that the basic units of value data are value seemings, and that value seemings are desires or desire-like. The basic idea, then, is that Pís appearing or seeming good is a desire or a desire-like state. Seeming here is analogous to perceptual seeming, rather than mere doxastic seeming. This thesis has a number of things going for it: (inter alia) the source of value data is not weird; desires provide the necessary link between value judgements and motivation where that is appropriate; the link is not too tight to preclude gaps ; and, finally, combined with an account of the perspectival nature of value appearances it avoids an important objection to the prevailing standard fitting-attitude accounts of value. But it has attracted some apparently powerful objections from others, and, as well, I have reluctantly stumbled across some of my own. In this talk I outline and address some of the most troubling of these objections.

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