PWNP Talk: "Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons"

Fri, May 3, 2019, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
301 Marx Hall


In value theory, uniqueness plays a starring role in transforming the dominant understanding of the nature of intrinsic value. Since G. E. Moore, the orthodox understanding of intrinsic value has been as the value that something has in virtue of its intrinsic properties. However, this view of intrinsic value was called into question with counterexamples pointing to uniqueness as a value-enhancing property. Uniqueness is an extrinsic property, therefore intrinsic value is not a matter of strictly intrinsic properties. But what is uniqueness and why is it so special? I argue that it is not so clear that uniqueness plays the role with which it has been credited. Rather, there is a second kind of uniqueness that plays an even more interesting role with respect to a different kind of value.