The Place of Subjectivity

On the Metaethics of Prudential Value

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien
Christoph Halbig Center for Ethics, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland

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The modern debate on the theory of prudential values is largely structured around the issue of how to accommodate the role of subjectivity: a prudentially good life (unlike, say, a morally good life) seems to be necessarily a life that is good for the person living it. The present article aims at clarifying this crucial role of subjectivity in the ontology of prudential values. It tries to show that this role, rightly understood, can be fully and satisfactorily accounted for by a strong realism in the theory of prudential value. Subjectivist intuitions that prove incompatible with such a realist framework, it is argued, can be convincingly rejected on independent grounds.

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