A phenomenological critique of attitude-dependent accounts of value inspired by Max Scheler

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Abstract

This article presents a phenomenological critique of attitude-dependent accounts of value in
contemporary axiology and argues that the notion of objective value is unproblematical if understood
correctly. Through a phenomenological critique of ideal-typical versions of dispositionalist and fitting
attitude accounts of value, the article argues that a careful phenomenology of evaluation can clarify
some fundamental issues about the nature and existence of objective value. The critique draws
inspiration from classic phenomenological analyses of evaluation found in Max
Scheler’s Formalismus in der Ethik und Materiale Wertethik (Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal
Ethics of Values). Through a phenomenological critique of ideal-typical versions of dispositionalist
and fitting attitude accounts of value, the article argues that a careful phenomenology of evaluation
can clarify some fundamental issues about the nature and existence of objective value. The critique
draws inspiration from classic phenomenological analyses of evaluation found in Max
Scheler’s Formalism and Edmund Husserl’s genetic phenomenology. Considering how values
phenomenally present themselves in lived-experience, the article investigates the relation between
evaluative attitudes, such as propositional judgments, beliefs, preferences, and intentional emotions,
and the objects of such attitudes. The article argues that any attitude-dependent account of value faces
the problem that at least some experienced value properties are objective in the sense of being
precisely independent of evaluative attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAppraisal
Volume12
Issue number1
ISSN1358-3336
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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