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What Do We Do about Bleakness?

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In response to Robin Attfield, I am inclined, still, (a) to claim that the concept of value cannot do the kind of comparative work that he asks it to do; (b) to doubt that the value of our world can be founded on the flourishing to be found there; and (c) to believe that there is enough in the world to be glad about even if it does not contain a preponderance of value. In response to John Cottingham, (a) I wonder whether denying the contingency of our moral impulses is compatible with the acceptance of Darwinian theory; (b) I distinguish between the primacy and the objectivity of moral truth; and (c) I draw attention to an apparently worrying implication of the belief that moral truth is 'objective'.

Keywords: bleakness; flourishing; gladness; value (comparative, objective)

Document Type: Discussion


Publication date: 2011-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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