Thursday, December 28, 2006

Griffin. How the concept of well-being is introduced: value and interest

Griffin is trying to show that there is a close connection between the concept of prudential value and the concept of interest. He shows that his theory is compatible with a weakened form of the Interest Theory of value.


“… the only form of the Interest Theory [of value] [i.e. ‘for a thing to be of value is for it to be the object of, or the satisfaction of, desire or interest.’ This is Perry.] that is plausible is one restricted to prudential value. There are two weighty doubts about it. It does not make value prior to desire […] And it does not allow the value we attach to our various ends ever to diverge from their place in the hierarchy of our informed desires, and there seem to be cases of such divergence.” 38

“So this restricted version [of the Interest Theory] seems to me right. There are, none the less, differences in tone between 'valued' and 'desired'. 'Valued' and 'valuable' are, like 'good' and 'interest', rather weighty words and do not sit altogether comfortably in cases where what one wants lacks importance. But these are minor troubles, the sort of linguistis strains that most theories involve." (38)

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