Being as Value: The Phenomenology of Value and the Ontology of Self-Realization in Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self
This paper explores one way of putting selves and values back into the world. I analyze Charles Taylor’s, Iris Murdoch’s, and Donald Walhout’s arguments showing that to be a self is to relate to being as a value. I show that the intentional relation of world-directedness that is central to self discloses being first as a value. I argue that our best account of what it is to be a self commits us to the objectivity of values.
I then explore Taylor’s arguments that, by denying a place for objective values in nature, the standard naturalist ontology leaves a gap between nature and self. I argue that this gap arises because current naturalism cannot account for the place of the intentional relation, which is our first guide to value, in the world. It thereby leaves a gap between third- and first-personal perspectives that obscures the nature of values as properties of relational situations. I explore Michiel Meijer’s objection that Taylor leaves an unresolved gap between ontology and phenomenology in his defense of value realism. I draw on the little-known work of Donald Walhout to show how this gap can be filled by analyzing value in terms of function.
Copyright (c) 2018 Andrada-Elena Holmgren
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to the Artbutus Review agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported license. This licence allows anyone to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work and grant the journal right of first publication.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.