Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Constitutive Instrumentality: a response to Lazar

Philosophy News image
Seth Lazar's forthcoming paper, 'Moral Status and Agent-Centred Options' contains some interesting objections to my 'Value Receptacles' paper.  Here's the first:Chappell’s treatment of the separateness of persons has several weaknesses. First, what does it mean to value aggregate well-being non-instrumentally, while valuing the well-being of individuals only instrumentally? The view seems a straw man. Aggregate well-being is composed of the well-being of individuals. If aggregate well-being is a noninstrumental value, then individual well-being is a non-instrumental value, since aggregate well-being just is all the individual well-being taken together. Treating different people’s well-being as totally fungible is a conceptual mistake, hence not a charitable interpretation of the separateness of persons objection. This is incorrect.  An important upshot of my paper was that we need to recognize two very different kinds of instrumentality.  The most familiar kind is. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Philosophy, et cetera

blog comments powered by Disqus