In ethics, value denotes the degree of importance of some thing or action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics), or to describe the significance of different actions. Value systems are proscriptive and prescriptive beliefs; they affect ethical behavior of a person or are the basis of their intentional activities. Often primary values are strong and secondary values are suitable for changes. What makes an action valuable may in turn depend on the ethical values of the objects it increases, decreases or alters. An object with "ethic value" may be termed an "ethic or philosophic good" (noun sense).[ citation needed ]
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, and thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology.
Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking.
A noun is a word that functions as the name of some specific thing or set of things, such as living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas. However, noun is not a semantic category, so that it cannot be characterized in terms of its meaning. Thus, actions and states of existence can also be expressed by verbs, qualities by adjectives, and places by adverbs. Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.
Values can be defined as broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of actions or outcomes. As such, values reflect a person's sense of right and wrong or what "ought" to be. "Equal rights for all", "Excellence deserves admiration", and "People should be treated with respect and dignity" are representatives of values. Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior and these types include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values that are not clearly physiologically determined, such as altruism, are intrinsic, and whether some, such as acquisitiveness, should be classified as vices or virtues.
Respect also called esteem is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important, or held in high esteem or regard; it conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities; and it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.
Dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically. It is of significance in morality, ethics, law and politics as an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights. The term may also be used to describe personal conduct, as in "behaving with dignity".
Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness".
Ethical value may be regarded as a study under ethics, which, in turn, may be grouped as philosophy. Similarly, ethical value may be regarded as a subgroup of a broader field of philosophic value sometimes referred to as axiology. Ethical value denotes something's degree of importance, with the aim of determining what action or life is best to do, or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?
The values that a person holds may be personal or political depending on whether they are considered in relation to the individual or to society. Apart from moral virtue, examples of personal values include friendship, knowledge, beauty etc. and examples of political values, justice, equality and liberty. This article will outline some current ideas relating to the first group - personal values. It will begin by looking at the kinds of thing that have value and finish with a look at some of the theories that attempt to describe what value is. Reference will be made solely to Western sources although it is recognised that many, if not all, of the values discussed may be universal.
Axiology is the philosophical study of value. It is either the collective term for ethics and aesthetics, philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth, or the foundation for these fields, and thus similar to value theory and meta-ethics. The term was first used by Paul Lapie, in 1902, and Eduard von Hartmann, in 1908.
The study of ethical value is also included in value theory. In addition, values have been studied in various disciplines: anthropology, behavioral economics, business ethics, corporate governance, moral philosophy, political sciences, social psychology, sociology and theology.
Various approaches of Value theory examine how, why, and to what degree humans value things; whether the object or subject of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else.
Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans.
Behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions and how those decisions vary from those implied by classical theory.
Ethical value is sometimes used synonymously with goodness. However, goodness has many other meanings and may be regarded as more ambiguous.
In religion, ethics, philosophy, and psychology "good and evil" is a very common dichotomy. In cultures with Manichaean and Abrahamic religious influence, evil is usually perceived as the dualistic antagonistic opposite of good, in which good should prevail and evil should be defeated. In cultures with Buddhist spiritual influence, both good and evil are perceived as part of an antagonistic duality that itself must be overcome through achieving Śūnyatā meaning emptiness in the sense of recognition of good and evil being two opposing principles but not a reality, emptying the duality of them, and achieving a oneness.
Personal values exist in relation to cultural values, either in agreement with or divergence from prevailing norms. A culture is a social system that shares a set of common values, in which such values permit social expectations and collective understandings of the good, beautiful and constructive. Without normative personal values, there would be no cultural reference against which to measure the virtue of individual values and so cultural identity would disintegrate.
Personal values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable and constructive. Values are one of the factors that generate behaviour[ dubious ] and influence the choices made by an individual.
Values may help common human problems for survival by comparative rankings of value, the results of which provide answers to questions of why people do what they do and in what order they choose to do them.[ clarification needed ] Moral, religious, and personal values, when held rigidly, may also give rise to conflicts that result from a clash between differing world views.
Over time the public expression of personal values that groups of people find important in their day-to-day lives, lay the foundations of law, custom and tradition. Recent research has thereby stressed the implicit nature of value communication.Consumer behavior research proposes there are six internal values and three external values. They are known as List of Values (LOV) in management studies. They are self respect, warm relationships, sense of accomplishment, self-fulfillment, fun and enjoyment, excitement, sense of belonging, being well respected, and security. From a functional aspect these values are categorized into three and they are interpersonal relationship area, personal factors, and non-personal factors. From an ethnocentric perspective, it could be assumed that a same set of values will not reflect equally between two groups of people from two countries. Though the core values are related, the processing of values can differ based on the cultural identity of an individual.
Individual cultures emphasize values which their members broadly share. Values of a society can often be identified by examining the level of honor and respect received by various groups and ideas. In the United States of America, for example, top-level professional athletes receive more respect (measured in terms of monetary payment) than university professors.
Values clarification differs from cognitive moral education :
Values relate to the norms of a culture, but they are more global and intellectual than norms. Norms provide rules for behavior in specific situations, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil. While norms are standards, patterns, rules and guides of expected behavior, values are abstract concepts of what is important and worthwhile. Flying the national flag on a holiday is a norm, but it reflects the value of patriotism. Wearing dark clothing and appearing solemn are normative behaviors to manifest respect at a funeral. Different cultures represent values differently and to different levels of emphasis. "Over the last three decades, traditional-age college students have shown an increased interest in personal well-being and a decreased interest in the welfare of others."Values seemed to have changed, affecting the beliefs, and attitudes of the students.
Members take part in a culture even if each member's personal values do not entirely agree with some of the normative values sanctioned in that culture. This reflects an individual's ability to synthesize and extract aspects valuable to them from the multiple subcultures they belong to.
If a group member expresses a value that seriously conflicts with the group's norms, the group's authority may carry out various ways of encouraging conformity or stigmatizing the non-conforming behavior of that member. For example, imprisonment can result from conflict with social norms that the state has established as law.[ clarification needed ]
Furthermore, institutions in the global economy can genuinely respect values which are of three kinds based on a "triangle of coherence". [ clarification needed ]In the first instance, a value may come to expression within the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as (in the second instance) within the United Nations – particularly in the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – providing a framework for global legitimacy through accountability. In the third instance, the expertise of member-driven international organizations and civil society depends on the incorporation of flexibility in the rules, to preserve the expression of identity in a globalized world. .
Nonetheless, in warlike economic competition, differing views may contradict each other, particularly in the field of culture. Thus audiences in Europe may regard a movie as an artistic creation and grant it benefits from special treatment, while audiences in the United States may see it as mere entertainment, whatever its artistic merits. EU policies based on the notion of "cultural exception" can become juxtaposed with the policy of "cultural specificity" on the liberal Anglo-Saxon side. Indeed, international law traditionally treats films as property and the content of television programs as a service.[ citation needed ] Consequently, cultural interventionist policies can find themselves opposed to the Anglo-Saxon liberal position, causing failures in international negotiations.
Values are generally received through cultural means, especially diffusion and transmission or socialization from parents to children. Parents in different cultures have different values.For example, parents in a hunter–gatherer society or surviving through subsistence agriculture value practical survival skills from a young age. Many such cultures begin teaching babies to use sharp tools, including knives, before their first birthdays. Italian parents value social and emotional abilities and having an even temperament. Spanish parents want their children to be sociable. Swedish parents value security and happiness. Dutch parents value independence, long attention spans, and predictable schedules. American parents are unusual for strongly valuing intellectual ability, especially in a narrow "book learning" sense. The Kipsigis people of Kenya value children who are not only smart, but who employ that intelligence in a responsible and helpful way, which they call ng'om. Luos of Kenya value education and pride which they call "nyadhi".
Factors that influence the development of cultural values are summarized below.
The Inglehart–Welzel cultural map of the world is a two-dimensional cultural map showing the cultural values of the countries of the world along two dimensions: The traditional versus secular-rational values reflect the transition from a religious understanding of the world to a dominance of science and bureaucracy. The second dimension named survival values versus self-expression values represents the transition from industrial society to post-industrial society.
Cultures can be distinguished as tight and loose in relation to how much they adhere to social norms and tolerates deviance.Tight cultures are more restrictive, with stricter disciplinary measures for norm violations while loose cultures have weaker social norms and a higher tolerance for deviant behavior. A history of threats, such as natural disasters, high population density, or vulnerability to infectious diseases, is associated with greater tightness. It has been suggested that tightness allows cultures to coordinate more effectively to survive threats.
Studies in evolutionary psychology have led to similar findings. The so-called regality theory finds that war and other perceived collective dangers have a profound influence on both the psychology of individuals and on the social structure and cultural values. A dangerous environment leads to a hierarchical, authoritarian, and warlike culture, while a safe and peaceful environment fosters an egalitarian and tolerant culture.
Relative values differ between people, and on a larger scale, between people of different cultures. On the other hand, there are theories of the existence of absolute values,which can also be termed noumenal values (and not to be confused with mathematical absolute value). An absolute value can be described as philosophically absolute and independent of individual and cultural views, as well as independent of whether it is known or apprehended or not. Ludwig Wittgenstein was pessimistic towards the idea that an elucidation would ever happen regarding the absolute values of actions or objects; "we can speak as much as we want about "life" and "its meaning," and believe that what we say is important. But these are no more than expressions and can never be facts, resulting from a tendency of the mind and not the heart or the will".
Philosophic value may be split into instrumental value and intrinsic values . An instrumental value is worth having as a means towards getting something else that is good (e.g., a radio is instrumentally good in order to hear music). An intrinsically valuable thing is worth for itself, not as a means to something else. It is giving value intrinsic and extrinsic properties.
An ethic good with instrumental value may be termed an ethic mean, and an ethic good with intrinsic value may be termed an end-in-itself. An object may be both a mean and end-in-itself.
Intrinsic and instrumental goods are not mutually exclusive categories.Some objects are both good in themselves, and also good for getting other objects that are good. "Understanding science" may be such a good, being both worthwhile in and of itself, and as a means of achieving other goods. In these cases, the sum of instrumental (specifically the all instrumental value) and intrinsic value of an object may be used when putting that object in value systems, which is a set of consistent values and measures.
The intensity of philosophic value is the degree it is generated or carried out, and may be regarded as the prevalence of the good, the object having the value.
It should not be confused with the amount of value per object, although the latter may vary too, e.g. because of instrumental value conditionality. For example, taking a fictional life-stance of accepting waffle-eating as being the end-in-itself, the intensity may be the speed that waffles are eaten, and is zero when no waffles are eaten, e.g. if no waffles are present. Still, each waffle that had been present would still have value, no matter if it was being eaten or not, independent on intensity.
Instrumental value conditionality in this case could be exampled by every waffle not present, making them less valued by being far away rather than easily accessible.
In many life stances it is the product of value and intensity that is ultimately desirable, i.e. not only to generate value, but to generate it in large degree. Maximizing lifestances have the highest possible intensity as an imperative.
There may be a distinction between positive and negative philosophic or ethic value. While positive ethic value generally correlates with something that is pursued or maximized, negative ethic value correlates with something that is avoided or minimized.
Negative value may be both intrinsic negative value and/or instrumental negative value.
A protected value (also sacred value) is one that an individual is unwilling to trade off no matter what the benefits of doing so may be. For example, some people may be unwilling to kill another person, even if it means saving many others individuals. Protected values tend to be "intrinsically good", and most people can in fact imagine a scenario when trading off their most precious values would be necessary.If such trade-offs happen between two competing protected values such as killing a person and defending your family they are called tragic trade-offs.
Protected values have been found to be play a role in protracted conflicts (e.g., the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) because they can hinder businesslike (''utilitarian'') negotiations. A series of experimental studies directed by Scott Atran and Ángel Gómez among combatants on the ISIS frontline in Iraq and with ordinary citizens in Western Europe suggest that commitment to sacred values motivate the most "devoted actors" to make the costliest sacrifices, including willingness to fight and die, as well as a readiness to forsake close kin and comrades for those values if necessary. From the perspective of utilitarianism, protected values are biases when they prevent utility from being maximized across individuals.
According to Jonathan Baron and Mark Spranca,protected values arise from norms as described in theories of deontological ethics (the latter often being referred to in context with Immanuel Kant). The protectedness implies that people are concerned with their participation in transactions rather than just the consequences of it.
A value system is a set of consistent values used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity.
As a member of a society, group or community, an individual can hold both a personal value system and a communal value system at the same time. In this case, the two value systems (one personal and one communal) are externally consistent provided they bear no contradictions or situational exceptions between them.
A value system in its own right is internally consistent when
Conversely, a value system by itself is internally inconsistent if:
Abstract exceptions serve to reinforce the ranking of values. Their definitions are generalized enough to be relevant to any and all situations. Situational exceptions, on the other hand, are ad hoc and pertain only to specific situations. The presence of a type of exception determines one of two more kinds of value systems:
The difference between these two types of systems can be seen when people state that they hold one value system yet in practice deviate from it, thus holding a different value system. For example, a religion lists an absolute set of values while the practice of that religion may include exceptions.
Implicit exceptions bring about a third type of value system called a formal value system. Whether idealized or realized, this type contains an implicit exception associated with each value: "as long as no higher-priority value is violated". For instance, a person might feel that lying is wrong. Since preserving a life is probably more highly valued than adhering to the principle that lying is wrong, lying to save someone’s life is acceptable. Perhaps too simplistic in practice, such a hierarchical structure may warrant explicit exceptions.
Although sharing a set of common values, like hockey is better than baseball or ice cream is better than fruit, two different parties might not rank those values equally. Also, two parties might disagree as to certain actions are right or wrong, both in theory and in practice, and find themselves in an ideological or physical conflict. Ethonomics, the discipline of rigorously examining and comparing value systems[ citation needed ], enables us to understand politics and motivations more fully in order to resolve conflicts.
An example conflict would be a value system based on individualism pitted against a value system based on collectivism. A rational value system organized to resolve the conflict between two such value systems might take the form below. Note that added exceptions can become recursive and often convoluted.
Philosophical value is distinguished from economic value, since it is independent on some other desired condition or commodity. The economic value of an object may rise when the exchangeable desired condition or commodity, e.g. money, become high in supply, and vice versa when supply of money becomes low.
Nevertheless, economic value may be regarded as a result of philosophical value. In the subjective theory of value, the personal philosophic value a person puts in possessing something is reflected in what economic value this person puts on it. The limit where a person considers to purchase something may be regarded as the point where the personal philosophic value of possessing something exceeds the personal philosophic value of what is given up in exchange for it, e.g. money. In this light, everything can be said to have a "personal economic value" in contrast to its "societal economic value."
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Meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments. Meta-ethics is one of the three branches of ethics generally studied by philosophers, the others being normative ethics and applied ethics.
In sociology, socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus "the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained".
Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures. Descriptive moral relativism holds only that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral; meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong; and normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it.
Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason. Rationality implies the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons to believe, and of one's actions with one's reasons for action. "Rationality" has different specialized meanings in philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology, game theory and political science.
Ethics involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than traditional moral conduct.
The term social order can be used in two senses. In the first sense, it refers to a particular set or system of linked social structures, institutions, relations, customs, values and practices, which conserve, maintain and enforce certain patterns of relating and behaving. Examples are the ancient, the feudal, and the capitalist social order. In the second sense, social order is contrasted to social chaos or disorder and refers to a stable state of society in which the existing social structure is accepted and maintained by its members. The problem of order or Hobbesian problem, which is central to much of sociology, political science and political philosophy, is the question of how and why it is that social orders exist at all.
Instrumental and intrinsic value are classic names scholars use to identify two ways humans think about what makes anything good. Instrumental value is the criterion that a means is good if it "works" efficiently in certain conditions to achieve its intended end. It is recognized inductively by experiencing successful consequences. Intrinsic value is the criterion that an end is good if it is "right" in itself, legitimate in all conditions. It is recognized deductively by revelation or intuition or politically-correct social prescription. Scholars use these names to explain good social action or institutions—prescribed patterns of correlated behavior—that maintain all human societies.
Work ethic is a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit and an inherent ability, virtue or value to strengthen character and individual abilities. It is a set of values centered on importance of work and manifested by determination or desire to work hard. Social ingrainment of this value is considered to enhance character through hard work that is respective to an individual's field of work.
J. Baird Callicott is an American philosopher whose work has been at the forefront of the new field of environmental philosophy and ethics. He is a University Distinguished Research Professor and a member of the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies and the Institute of Applied Sciences at the University of North Texas. Callicott held the position of Professor of Philosophy and Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point from 1969 to 1995, where he taught the world's first course in environmental ethics in 1971. From 1994 to 2000, he served as Vice President then President of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. Other distinguished positions include visiting professor of philosophy at Yale University; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Hawai’i; and the University of Florida.
"Instrumental and value rationality" are classic names scholars use to identify two ways human reason when correlating group behaviour to maintain social life. Instrumental rationality recognizes means that "work" efficiently to achieve ends. Value rationality recognizes ends that are "right," legitimate in themselves.
Secular ethics is a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, empathy, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from supernatural revelation or guidance—the source of ethics in many religions. Secular ethics refers to any ethical system that does not draw on the supernatural, and includes humanism, secularism and freethinking. A classical example of literature on secular ethics is the Kural text, authored by the ancient Tamil Indian philosopher Valluvar who lived during the 1st century BCE.
Instrumental and value-rational action are classic names scholars use to identify two kinds of behavior that human intelligence permits our species alone--homo sapiens, the knowing animal--to engage in. Scholars call means that "work" as tools, instrumental action, and ends that are "right" as legitimate ends, value-rational action.
Organizational ethics is the ethics of an organization, and it is how an organization responds to an internal or external stimulus. Organizational ethics is interdependent with the organizational culture. Although it is akin to both organizational behavior and industrial and organizational psychology as well as business ethics on the micro and macro levels, organizational ethics is neither organizational behavior nor industrial and organizational psychology, nor is it solely business ethics. Organizational ethics express the values of an organization to its employees and/or other entities irrespective of governmental and/or regulatory laws.
Intrinsic value exists wherever self-valuing beings exist. The intrinsic value of a human, or any other sentient animal, is the value it confers on itself by desiring its own lived experience as an end in itself. Because intrinsic value is self-ascribed, all animals have it, unlike instrumental or extrinsic values. Instrumental value is the value that others confer on an animal because of its value as a resource or as a source of emotional, recreational, aesthetic or spiritual gratification. Intrinsic values are conferred from within an animal, and are therefore not directly measurable by economists, while extrinsic values are conferred from outside and can, in principle, be measured econometrically.
Ethics in the public sector is a broad topic that is usually considered a branch of political ethics. In the public sector, ethics addresses the fundamental premise of a public administrator's duty as a "steward" to the public. In other words, it is the moral justification and consideration for decisions and actions made during the completion of daily duties when working to provide the general services of government and nonprofit organizations. Ethics is defined as, among others, the entirety of rules of proper moral conduct corresponding to the ideology of a particular society or organization (Eduard). Public sector ethics is a broad topic because values and morals vary between cultures. Despite the differences in ethical values, there is a growing common ground of what is considered good conduct and correct conduct with ethics. Ethics are an accountability standard by which the public will scrutinize the work being conducted by the members of these organizations. The question of ethics emerges in the public sector on account of its subordinate character.
The science of morality may refer to various forms of ethical naturalism grounding morality in rational, empirical consideration of the natural world.
Culture consists of both material culture and non-material culture. Thoughts or ideas that make up a culture are called the non-material culture. In contrast to material culture, non-material culture does not include any physical objects or artifacts. Examples of non-material culture include any ideas, beliefs, values, norms that may help shape society.
Axiological ethics is concerned with the values which we hold our ethical standards and theories up to. It questions what, if any, basis exists for such values. Through doing so, it explores the justification for our values, and examines if there is any beyond arbitrary preference. While axiological ethics can be considered a subfield within the branch of ethics, it also draws in thought from other fields of philosophy, such as epistemology and value theory.