DUTY AND MORAL VALUE
We have so far sought to enumerate and deduce the various separate ends (and counter-ends) which, as interpersonally and suprapersonally attuned, we must tend to move towards (or away from): we have distinguished a number of ends constitutive of the common and the 'higher' welfare, a number of evils constitutive of what may be called 'classical injustice', and of values constitutive of its somewhat colourless contrary, classical justice, as well as the very colourful positive end called by us 'Platonic justice'. These ends may all very well be said to be limbs of the same body, or members of the same family, all expressive in different ways of the same basic nisus towards the impersonal. But if they are limbs of a body, or members of a family, we have not yet shown how they fit and function together, and on what principles, in the detail of practice, one of them is to take precedence over another. What is here the desideratum is a value-concept or set of value-concepts which is at once connective, contextual and preferential, which will somehow superimpose itself upon, and bring together in one outcome, a number of distinct points of value and disvalue, all attaching to some single, well worked out project, which will do so in an actual context which extends some way beyond the project judged, and which will do so in a context of other hypothetical projections, which might have been preferred to it, or to which it might have been preferred. The kind of concept we are seeking is the kind covered by such phrases as 'the worthwhile thing on the whole, in the concrete case', 'the best thing that could happen in the circumstances', 'the right choice in the circumstances', 'what ought to be or be done in the circumstances', etc. etc. It is because our valuations permit a drawing together to this sort of outcome, that they form an organized 'body' at all, a body being a structure in all which all parts work together to produce a single result, as when heart, lungs, legs, eyes, etc., help us to jump over an obstacle, scale a height, etc. etc.
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Publication information: Book title: Values and Intentions:A Study in Value-Theory and Philosophy of Mind. Contributors: J. N. Findlay - Author. Publisher: George Allen & Unwin. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1961. Page number: 332.
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