Value and Fitting Attitudes in Metaethics

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/10/2008
End date: 01/10/2012
Funding: 3312000 SEK


What does it mean that something is valuable? It is a common idea that value and attitudes are intimately linked; it is fitting to have favourable attitudes (‘pro-attitudes’) to things that are good and to have unfavourable attitudes (‘anti-attitudes’) to things that are bad. An old idea that goes back at least to philosophers such as Franz Brentano, C. D. Broad, and A. C. Ewing is that value is analysable in terms of fitting attitudes; for x to be good (bad) is for x to be a fitting object of a positive (negative) attitude. This analysis has recently been labelled the ‘Fitting Attitude analysis’ of value, or the FA-analysis for short (Rabinowicz & Rønnow-Rasmussen 2004). The renewed interest in this type of analysis in recent metaethical debate is largely due to T. M. Scanlon’s ‘buck-passing’ account of value (Scanlon 1998). This project examines the concepts of value and fittingness in metaethics. The project has two parts: First, to give a new solution to the so called ‘wrong kind of reason’ problem for FA-analyses; second, to elaborate a metaethical error-theory about the concept of fittingness. The main aim of the project is to provide significant contributions to ongoing debates in contemporary metaethics; a secondary aim is to throw some light on the work of such historical figures as Brentano, Broad, and Ewing, whose work have been insufficiently explored in analytic moral philosophy. The results will be presented as articles in peer-reviewed journals and as a book.

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Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58