Please join us for our first in-person colloquium since February 2020! Dr. Nandi Theunissen will be joining us from the University of Pittsburgh. She will be giving a talk titled The New Mooreans from 3-5 pm on September 3rd in 242 O'Shaughnessy Hall.
I address a basic question in value theory about the relationship between being good and being good for someone. Is something (A) good because it is good for someone, or (B) is it good for someone because it is good? A group of theorists whom I call the New Mooreans—Joseph Raz, Susan Wolf, and Thomas Nagel—defend B: good has priority over good for. I contend that their arguments are insufficient to secure B. It is false that when something is (non-instrumentally) good for someone it is so because it is good simpliciter. I conclude by locating a deep point of disagreement between the New Mooreans and their opponents. For the New Mooreans, value affects us as a mere symptom of being good, while for their opponents, value is crucially and essentially affective. Without settling the question of the better theory of value, I suggest that new Mooreans are under pressure to explain the claim of values on our cognitive and practical attention. If the suggestion stands, they must do more to make a real advance over G. E. Moore.