Ideas of Francesco Orsi, by Theme

[Italian, fl. 2015, PhD at Reading, then at University of Tartu, Estonia.]

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7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / a. Nature of supervenience
To avoid misunderstandings supervenience is often expressed negatively: no A-change without B-change
     Full Idea: It is no part of supervenience that 'if p then q' entails 'if not p then not q'. To avoid such misunderstandings, it is common (though not more accurate) to describe supervenience in negative terms: no difference in A without a difference in B.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 5.2)
     A reaction: [compressed] In other words it is important to avoid the presupposition that the given supervenience is a two-way relation. The paradigm case of supervenience is stalking.
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / c. Reasons as causes
Rather than requiring an action, a reason may 'entice' us, or be 'eligible', or 'justify' it
     Full Idea: Many have suggested alternative roles or sorts of reasons, which are not mandatory. Dancy says some reasons are 'enticing' rather than peremptory; Raz makes options 'eligible' rather than required; Gert says they justify rather than require action.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 6.4)
     A reaction: The third option is immediately attractive - but then it would only justify the action because it was a good reason, which would need explaining. 'Enticing' captures the psychology in a nice vague way.
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
Final value is favoured for its own sake, and personal value for someone's sake
     Full Idea: Final value is to be favoured for its own sake; personal value is to be favoured for someone's sake.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 7.2)
     A reaction: This gives another important dimension for discussions of value. I like the question 'what gives rise to this value?', but we can also ask (given the value) why we should then promote it. Health isn't a final value, and truth isn't a personal value?
Value-maker concepts (such as courageous or elegant) simultaneously describe and evaluate
     Full Idea: Examples of value-maker concepts are courageous, honest, cowardly, corrupt, elegant, tacky, melodious, insightful. Employing these concepts normally means both evaluating and describing the thing or person one way or another.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 1.2)
     A reaction: The point being that they tell you two things - that this thing has a particular value, and also why it has that value. Since I am flirting with the theory that all values must have 'value-makers' this is very interesting.
The '-able' concepts (like enviable) say this thing deserves a particular response
     Full Idea: The '-able' concepts, such as valuable, enviable, contemptible, wear on their sleeve the idea that the thing so evaluated merits or is worth a certain attitude or response (of valuing, envying, despising).
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 1.2)
     A reaction: Compare Idea 18666. Hence some concepts point to the source of value in the thing, and others point to the source of the value in the normative attitude of the speaker. Interesting.
Things are only valuable if something makes it valuable, and we can ask for the reason
     Full Idea: If a certain object is valuable, then something other than its being valuable must make it so. ...One is always in principle entitled to an answer as to why it is good or bad.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 5.2)
     A reaction: What Orsi calls the 'chemistry' of value. I am inclined to think that this is the key to a philosophical study of value. Without this assumption the values float free, and we drift into idealised waffle. Note that here he only refers to 'objects'.
A complex value is not just the sum of the values of the parts
     Full Idea: The whole 'being pleased by cats being tortured' is definitely not better, and is likely worse, than cats being tortured. So its value cannot result from a sum of the intrinsic values of the parts.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 5.3)
     A reaction: This example is simplistic. It isn't a matter of just adding 'pleased' and 'tortured'. 'Pleased' doesn't have a standalone value. Only a rather gormless utilitarian would think it was always good if someone was pleased. I suspect values don't sum at all.
Trichotomy Thesis: comparable values must be better, worse or the same
     Full Idea: It is natural to assume that if we can compare two objects or states of affairs, X and Y, then X is either better than, or worse than, or as good as Y. This has been called the Trichotomy Thesis.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 6.2)
     A reaction: This is the obvious starting point for a discussion of the difficult question of the extent to which values can be compared. Orsi says even if there was only one value, like pleasure, it might have incommensurable aspects like duration and intensity.
The Fitting Attitude view says values are fitting or reasonable, and values are just byproducts
     Full Idea: The main claims of the Fitting Attitude view of value are Reduction: values such are goodness are reduced to fitting attitudes, having reasons, and Normative Redundancy: goodness provides no reasons for attitudes beyond the thing's features.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 8.2)
     A reaction: Orsi's book is a sustained defence of this claim. I like the Normative Redundancy idea, but I am less persuaded by the Reduction.
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / c. Objective value
Values from reasons has the 'wrong kind of reason' problem - admiration arising from fear
     Full Idea: A support for the fittingness account (against the buck-passing reasons account) is the 'wrong kind of reasons' problem. There are many reasons for positive attitudes towards things which are not good. We might admire a demon because he threatens torture.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 1.4)
     A reaction: [compressed] I like the Buck-Passing view, but was never going to claim that all reasons for positive attitudes bestow value. I only think that there is no value without a reason
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value
A thing may have final value, which is still derived from other values, or from relations
     Full Idea: Many believe that final values can be extrinsic: objects which are valuable for their own sake partly thanks to their relations to other objects. ...This might depend on the value of other things...or an object's relational properties.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 2.3)
     A reaction: It strikes me that virtually nothing (or even absolutely nothing) has final value in total isolation from other things (Moore's 'isolation test'). Values arise within a tangled network of relations. Your final value is my instrumental value.
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / a. Normativity
The Buck-Passing view of normative values says other properties are reasons for the value
     Full Idea: Version two of the normative view of values is the Buck-Passing account, which says that 'x is good' means 'x has the property of having other properties that provide reasons to favour x'.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 1.4)
     A reaction: [He cites Scanlon 1998:95-8] I think this is the one to explore. We want values in the world, bridging the supposed 'is-ought gap', and not values that just derive from the way human beings are constituted (and certainly not supernatural values!).
Values can be normative in the Fitting Attitude account, where 'good' means fitting favouring
     Full Idea: Version one of the normative view of values is the Fitting Attitude account, which says that 'x is good' means 'it is fitting to respond favourably to (or 'favour') x'.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 1.4)
     A reaction: Brentano is mentioned. Orsi favours this view. The rival normative view is Scanlon's [1998:95-8] Buck-Passing account, in Idea 18670. I am interested in building a defence of the Buck-Passing account, which seems to suit a naturalistic realist like me.
Truths about value entail normative truths about actions or attitudes
     Full Idea: My guiding assumption is that truths about value, at least, regularly entail normative truths of some sort about actions or attitudes.
     From: Francesco Orsi (Value Theory [2015], 1.4)
     A reaction: Not quite as clear as it sounds. If I say 'the leaf is green' I presume a belief that it is green, which is an attitude. If I say 'shut the door' that implies an action with no value. One view says that values are entirely normative in this way.