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The Nature of Intrinsic Value

Michael J. Zimmerman (Rowman & Littlefield: Jul 2001), 288 pages.

At the heart of ethics reside the concepts of good and bad; they are at work when we assess whether a person is virtuous or vicious, an act right or wrong, a decision defensible or indefensible, a goal desirable or undesirable. But there are many varieties of goodness and badness. At their core lie intrinsic goodness and badness, the sort of value that something has for its own sake. It is in virtue of intrinsic value that other types of value may be understood, and hence that we can begin to come to terms with questions of virtue and vice, right and wrong, and so on. This book investigates the nature of intrinsic value: just what it is for something to be valuable for its own sake, just what sort of thing can have such value, just how such a value is to be computed. In the final chapter, the fruits of this investigation are applied to a discussion of pleasure, pain, and displeasure and also of moral virtue and vice, in order to determine just what value lies within these phenomena. ~ From the Publisher

Table of Contents

    • List of Illustrations
    • Preface
    • 1    Introduction    1
    • 2    Defending the Concept of Intrinsic Value    15
    • 3    The Bearers of Intrinsic Value    33
    • 4    Analyzing the Concept of Intrinsic Value    75
    • 5    Computing Intrinsic Value    131
    • 6    Instances of Intrinsic Value    189
    • App    Extrinsic Value    251
    • Bibliography    261
    • Index of Names    268
    • Index of Propositions    272
    • Index of Subjects    275
    • About the Author    279