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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In value theory, the notion of an organic unity is usually associated with G. E. Moore. In his Principia Ethica, Moore provided two definitions of an organic unity. In the first section of this chapter, it is argued that both definitions fail to capture Moore’s intentions, as well as being inadequate for measurement-theoretical reasons. Section 15.2 briefly investigates whether the existence of organic unities, as conceived by Moore, entails that intrinsic or final value cannot be additively measured. In section 15.3, a number of definitions of an organic unity proposed by later authors are surveyed, and some criteria for organicity are discerned. In section 15.4, it is argued that one suggested criterion presupposes that some instances of final value are not instances of intrinsic value, in Moore’s sense. The fifth and final section contains a brief discussion of whether the existence of organic unities can plausibly be denied.

Keywords: organic unity, intrinsic value, final value, measurement, G. E. Moore

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