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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Are things good because we desire them or do we desire them because they are good? Theories that countenance only desire-dependent values are idealist, those that countenance desire-independent values are realist. A value can be either subject-relative or subject-neutral. Subjectivism (or subject-relative idealism) countenances only subject-relative and desire-dependent values. Subject-neutral idealism countenances at least some subject-neutral values. Realism repudiates the dependence of value on actual desires, but endorses an important relation between value and the fittingness of desires. Normative realism takes normative facts about the fittingness of desires to ground the value facts, while axiological realism takes value facts to ground facts about fittingness. An important variant of axiological realism, namely representational realism, holds that desires are appearances of value, and that the fittingness of a desire is simply a matter of accurate representation.

Keywords: value idealism, value realism, subject-relative, subject-neutral, desire-dependence, fittingness (of desires), normative realism

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