Analysing Personal Value

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It is argued that the so-called fitting attitude- or buck-passing pattern of analysis may be applied to personal values too (and not only to impersonal values, which is the standard analysandum) if the analysans is fine-tuned in the following way: An object has personal value for a person a, if and only if there is reason to favour it for a’s sake (where “favor” is a place-holder for different pro-responses that are called for by the value bearer). One benefit with it is its wide range: different kinds of values are analysable by the same general formula. Moreover, by situating the distinguishing quality in the attitude rather than the reason part, the analysis admits that personal value is recognizable as a value not only by the person for whom it has personal value, but for everyone else too. We thereby avoid facing two completely dif-ferent notions of value, viz., one pertaining to impersonal value, and another to personal value. The analysis also elucidates why we are (at least pro tanto) justified in our concern for objects that are valuable for us; if value just is, as it is suggested, the existence of reasons for such a concern, the justification is immediately forthcoming.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy


  • buck-passing analysis, Stephen Darwall, final value, intrinsic value, G. E. Moore, personal value, respect
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-435
JournalJournal of Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch