Thursday, February 02, 2012

Facts & Values, Truth & Objectivity—An Introduction (Part III)


This is the third and final installment in our series. Part I is here, and Part II is here.

‘Recently Iris Murdoch has put forward the view that the whole “fact/value” dichotomy stems from a faulty moral psychology: from the metaphysical picture of “the neutral facts” (apprehended by a totally uncaring faculty of reason) and the will which, having learned the neutral facts, must “choose values” either arbitrarily (the existentialist picture) or on the basis of “instinct.” I think she is right; but setting this moral psychology right will involve deep philosophical work involving the notions of “reason” and “fact” (as she, of course, recognizes).’—Hilary Putnam

‘The concept factual judgment or judgment with a truth-value and the concept of ethical judgment will be different concepts—such a distinction is there to be made, just as the concept mouse and the concept mammal are different concepts—but the distinctness does not preclude a judgment’s being both a factual and an ethical judgment. Compare the way in which the distinct concepts mouse and mammal will each collect any particular mouse you please, Timmy Willy or Johnny Town or whichever, within their extensions. Ethical judgments could be a subset of factual judgments even if they were an utterly special and essentially contestable subset. In this way, we can have a clear difference between the ethical-as-such and the factual-as-such without any dichotomy between their property provinces. The hope of making good a claim of this sort is the characteristic hope of ethical objectivism or moral cognitivism.’—David Wiggins

‘A predicate stands for a natural property if it is indispensable to the exposition or development of some natural science (or to some similarly strictly empirical-cum-explanatory mode of investigation). A non-natural property is simply one that is not like that. It is a myth and the opposite of the truth that our grasp of properties that are natural in this sense is better than our grasp of the non-natural.’—David Wiggins

‘Consider the ethical predicate “considerate.” That which marks out or delimits or decries or discriminates the property of considerateness in acts or attitudes or human characters is an essentially ethical interest, in pursuit of which we can deploy any mode of investigation or and associated concept that suits the case. The presence of such properties, that is, of value properties, is ascertained by all the multifarious means that are called for by the exercise of our grasp of this or that ethical concept. Such properties are to be conceived in light of what it takes to exercise that grasp—not vice versa. A particular ethical property, we might say, is to be identified or singled out as the property which the reasonable exercise of the grasp of such and such a concept, as regulated by criticism, hunts down.’—David Wiggins

‘Objectivity calls for putting one’s idiosyncratic predilections and parochial preferences aside in forming one’s beliefs, evaluations and choices. It is a matter of proceeding in line not with one’s inclinations but with the dictates of impartial reason. The universality of reason must be recognized: What is rational for one person to do, to believe, or to value will thereby also of necessity be equally rational for all the rest of us who might find ourselves in the same circumstances. For rationality is inherently “objective:” it does not reconfigure itself to meet the idiosyncratic predilections of particular individuals. To be sure, objectivity will have to take context into account, seeing that different individuals and groups confront very different objective situations. Rationality is universal, but it is circumstantially universal—and objectivity with it. It is a matter of what “any of us” would do in one’s place. [….] The contextuality of good reasons can be reconciled with the universality of rationality itself by taking a hierarchical view of the process through which the absolutistic (and uniform) conception of ideal rationality is thought to bear context differently, on the resolution of concrete cases and particular situations.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘The content of an assertion is intrinsically related to a conceptual scheme. [….] In effect, propositions, true or false, are implicitly indexed to some conceptual scheme or schemes. [….] Facts are internal to conceptual schemes, or ways of dividing the world into objects, among which there can be equally acceptable alternatives. [….] [S]uch metaphysical pluralism is consistent with realism about truth.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘[I]n taking concepts to be flexible and fluid like, the pluralist is not saying that we are confused about our concepts. Rather, the point is that concepts are not absolutely determinate or closed; they do not have a fixed use in every possible situation. This does not imply, however, that no concepts have determinate uses in all actual situations. Some concepts may be perfectly determinate in actual situations, but not in all possible situations. [….] For the pluralist, concepts are…flexible; they are subject to possible extension in the fact of unforeseen circumstances. Hence, there can be irresolvable disagreements over how to apply any concept. In a sense, concepts are therefore always possibly vague in a nonpejorative sense; they have what Waismann called “open texture.”’—Michael P. Lynch

‘Minimally speaking, a proposition is true in the realist sense when things are as that proposition says they are. Some aspect of objective reality must simply be a certain way. If it is, then the proposition is true; if not, the proposition is false. The truth of the proposition hinges on the world alone, not on our thought about the world. In short, realism about truth minimally implies two commitments: (a) truth is an authentic property that some propositions have and others lack, and (b) the concept of truth is, in Putnam’s words, “radically non-epistemic;” that is, whether a proposition is true (in most cases) does not depend on what I or anyone else believes or knows. [….] According to correspondence accounts of truth, there are three metaphysical aspects to any true proposition: the proposition itself (the truth bearer), its correspondence (the truth relation), and the reality to which it corresponds (the truth marker). [….] In other words, propositions are true when they correspond to the facts.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘[T]here is no logical incoherence in supposing that facts and propositions are relative to conceptual schemes and that truth is the correspondence of (relative) propositions with (relative) facts.’—Michael P. Lynch

Truth is objective; it is good to believe what is true; truth is a goal worthy of human inquiry; and truth is worth caring about for its own sake.

‘Thinking about why we should care about truth tells us two things about it: first, that truth is, in part, a deeply normative property—it is a value. And second, this is a fact that any adequate theory of truth must account for. In light of this fact, I suggest that truth, like other values, should be understood as depending on, but not reducible to, lower-level properties. Yet which properties truth depends on or supervenes on may change with the type of belief in question. This opens the door to a type of pluralism: truth in ethics may be realized differently than in physics.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘Truth is a property that is good for beliefs to have. Since propositions are the content of beliefs, and it is the content of a belief and not the act of believing that is true, we can also say that truth is the property that makes a proposition good to believe.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘All truths are relative, yes, but our concept of truth needn’t be a relative concept.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘[T]he conditions under which a proposition is true are partly determined by the conceptual scheme in which the proposition is expressed. But what makes a proposition true is not its relation to a scheme but whether or not the conditions in question obtain. For a claim to be true (or false), the conditions must be relative to a scheme. Yet the reason that the claim is true is not because it is relative to a scheme (as the truth relativist must hold); it is true because it is the case.[….] A fact, in the human sense, is simply what is the case.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘Deflationists are right to be skeptical of the thought that any one traditional theory of truth can tell us what all and only true beliefs have in common. At a suitable level of abstraction, understanding what true beliefs are simply involves simply understanding what they do—their role in our cognitive economy. To play this role is to satisfy certain truisms, truisms that display truth’s connection to other concepts. It is this truth-role that gives truth its unity; the features that are constitutive of this role are what true propositions have in common, and simply having those features is what we ordinarily mean by saying that a proposition is true. But not all facts are exhausted by the truisms. One such facts is that there is more than one property that make beliefs true. Truth…is immanent in those other properties of beliefs. In some domains, what makes a belief true is that it corresponds to reality; in others, beliefs are made true by a form of coherence. [….] [Traditional theories of truth] are not best conceived of as theories of truth itself. They are better seen as theories of the properties that make beliefs true—or manifest truth.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘Truth is immanent in distinct properties of beliefs; our ordinary concept of truth is univocal.’—Michael P. Lynch

Core Folk Truisms (there may be other truisms): 1. Objectivity: ‘The belief that p is true if, and only if with respect to the belief that p, things are as they are believed to be…is a central truism about truth.’ 2. Norm of Belief: It is prima facie correct to believe that p if and only if the proposition that p is true.’ 3. Warrant of Independence: ‘Some beliefs can be true but not warranted and some can be warranted without being true.’ 4. End of Inquiry: Other things being equal, true beliefs are a worthy goal of inquiry.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘A theory of truth should make sense of the following metaphysical principle: Truth is One: There is a single property named by “truth” that all and only true propositions share.’ The theory should also be ‘able to make sense of the intuition that drives pluralism about truth, namely, Truth is Many: there is more than one way to be true.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘[T]ruth is a single higher-level property whose instantiations across kinds of propositions are determined by a class of other, numerically distinct properties. [….] Truth is many because different properties may manifest truth in distinct domains of inquiry. In those domains they have the truish features [we find in those folk-truisms enumerated above]. Truth is one because there is a single property so manifested, and “truth” rigidly names that property.’—Michael P. Lynch

‘Truth is an immanent functional property that is variably manifested.’—Michael P. Lynch

An atomic proposition of some domain is true, if and only if, it has the particular property that manifests true for propositions in that domain. The truth-value of compounds supervenes on the truth-value of atomic propositions.

‘In the denial that artwork can or should make truth claims I see formalism joining hands with romanticism, to yield an aestheticism that renders art autonomous, to be sure, and perhaps even pleasantly anarchic, but also cut off from the rest of life, deracinated, robbed of its claim upon conscience or consciousness, and so transformed into little more than the toy of decadence.’—Lenn E. Goodman

‘I think artworks do make truth claims, even if not always propositionally. But no truth claim is self-validating, and artistic claims are not made true by virtue of their medium. Perhaps the most suspect of pretensions in behalf of artistic truth is the idea that art’s higher truth is somehow exempt from the demands of human understanding, critical thought, or moral judgment. That makes artists into hit-and-run oracles. Surely, even a higher truth, if it really is truth, is worthy and capable of scrutiny. That means that works of artistic fancy can and should he held accountable for their veracity, on whatever level they can make good their claims.’—Lenn E. Goodman

‘[A] uniformitarian absolutism at the high-generality level of “what rationality is” is perfectly consonant with a pluralism and relativism at the lower level of concrete resolutions regarding “what is rational” within the contextual setting of particular cases. The ruling principles of rationality never uniquely constrain their more specific circumstantial implementations. At each step along the way we repeat the same basic situation: delimitation, yes; determination, no. The sought-for reconciliation between the universalistic absoluteness of rationality and the variability and relativity of its particular rulings is thus provided for by the consideration that the absolutism of principles operates at the highest level of the hierarchy of rational development, while there is ever “slack” and variability as one moves towards the lowest level of concrete determinations. The variability and relativity of good reasons at the level of our actual operations can indeed be reconciled with the absolutism of rationality itself by taking a hierarchical view of the process through which the absolutistic conception of ideal rationality is brought to bear on the resolution of concrete circumstances and particular situations.’—Nicholas Rescher
‘In characterizing a belief as objectively rational we are certainly not claiming that there is a universal consensus about it. No matter how sensible a contention on any significant issue may be, there is an ever-present prospect that some people—perhaps even many—will nevertheless quite defensibly and appropriately dissent from it. The validity of our judgments is emphatically not destroyed by finding that there are people who reject them.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘We have to come to terms with epistemic realities, which include: 1) the diversity in people’s experiences and cognitive situations; 2) the variation of “available data;” 3) the underdetermination of facts by data (all too frequently insufficient); 4) the variability of people’s cognitive values (evidential security, simplicity, etc.); 5) the variation of cognitive methodology and the epistemic “state of the art.” Such factors—and others like them—make for an unavoidable difference in the beliefs, judgments, and evaluations even of otherwise “perfectly rational” people.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘If we are going to be rational we must take—and have no responsible choice but to take—the stance that our own standards (of truth, value, and choice) are the appropriate ones. Be it in employing or in evaluating them, we ourselves must see our own standards as authoritative because this, exactly, is what it is for them to be our own standards—their being our standards consists in our seeing them in this light. We have to see our standards in an absolutistic light—as the uniquely right appropriately valid ones—because this is what is at issue in their being our standards of authentic truth, value, or whatever. To insist that we should view them with indifference is to deny us all prospects of having any standards at all. Commitment at this level is simply unavoidable. Our cognitive or evaluative perspective would not be our perspective did we not deem it rationally superior to others.’—Nicholas Rescher
‘What people think to be true is clearly something that is person-variable and thus relative. We can take the line that “What is true?” is a question that different people can quite appropriately answer differently because of the interpersonal variability of available information. But what truth is all about is something that is…altogether definite and fixed. The evidentiation at issue in the epistemic sector is doubtless interpersonally and intercommunally variable. But variability on the side of information does not make for variation on the side of concepts.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘[W]e can (quite appropriately) disagree about what it is that is true and what good reasons are at hand, while yet maintaining an (appropriately) absolutistic view of what truth and good reasons are. The ideal nature of actual truth and of actual good reasons that inhere in our (defining) conceptions of inquiry establishes a clear limit to the implications of cognitive relativism. To re-emphasize: a pluralistic contextualism of potential basis-diversity is altogether compatible with an absolutistic commitment to our own basis. One can accept the prospect of alternatives as available to the community at large without seeing more than one of them appropriate for oneself. One can combine a pluralism of possible alternatives with an absolutistic position regarding ideal rationality and a firm and reasoned commitment to the standards intrinsic to one’s own position. We ourselves are bound to see our own (rationally adopted) standards as superior to the available alternatives—and are, presumably, rationally entitled to do so in light of the cognitive values we in actual fact endorse. The crux of the pluralism issue lies in the question of just what it is that one is being pluralistic about.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘The immense success of quantitative techniques in the mathematicizing-sciences has misled people into thinking that quantification is the only viable road to objectively cogent information. But think—is it really so? Where is it written that numbers alone yield genuine understanding—that judgment based on structural analysis or qualitative harmonization is unhelpful and uninformative, so that where numbers cannot enter, intelligibility flies away? (Modern mathematics itself is not all that quantitative, since it is deeply concerned with issues such as those of topology and group theory that deal with structures in a way that puts quantitative issues aside.) [….] To be sure, to acknowledge the limits of measurability is not to downgrade the whole process, let alone to propose its total abandonment. It is precisely because we are well advised to push the cause of measurement as far as we legitimately can that we need to be mindful of the line between meaningful measurement and meaningless quantifications. That we cannot draw this line better than seems to be the case at present is—or should be—a proper cause for justified chagrin. But for present purposes the salient point is that quantification does not carry measurability in its wake nor necessarily indicate objectivity. Polls quantify public opinion, but need they indicate anything objective? The sales price of entries in an art auction are perfectly good quantities, but they reflect no more than the elusive fashion and passion of the moment. There is nothing about quantities as such to indicate that they measure anything objective. Three lessons emerge:

a) While measurement requires quantification, quantification is not sufficient for measurement. b) Quantification is neither necessary to nor sufficient for objectivity. c) Actual measurement, while indeed sufficient for objectivity, is not necessary for it. The long and short of it is that the linkage between objectivity and quantification is more distant and more complex than is commonly envisioned.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘Any adequate worldview must recognize that the ongoing process of scientific inquiry is a process of conceptual innovation that always leaves various facts about the things of this world wholly outside the cognitive range of the inquirers of any particular period.’ —Nicholas Rescher

‘There is no more evidence that science converges to one final worldview than there is that literature or morality converge to one final worldview.’—Hilary Putnam

‘…[The] “scientific” is not coextensive with “rational.” There are many perfectly rational beliefs that cannot be tested ‘scientifically.’ But more than that, …there are whole domains of fact with respect to which present-day science tells us nothing at all, not even that the facts in question exist. These domains are not new or strange. Three of them are (1) the domain of objective values; (2) the domain of freedom; (3) the domain of rationality itself.’—Hilary Putnam

‘[F]ailures of objectivity—wishful thinking, self-deception, bias-indulgence, and similar departures from the path of reason—may be convenient and even, in some degree, psychologically comforting. But they are ultimately indefensible. For if it is a viable defense of a position that we want, it is bound to be a rational one. In the final analysis, “Why be rational?” must be answered with the only rationally appropriate response: “Because rationality itself obliges us to be so.” In providing a rational justification of objectivity—and what other kind would we want?—the best we can do is to follow the essentially circular (but nonviciously circular!) line of establishing that reason herself endorses taking this course. The only validation of rationality’s recommendations that can reasonably be asked for—and the only one worth having—must lie in the consideration of the systemic self-sufficiency of reason. Reason’s self-recommendation is an important and necessary aspect of the legitimation of the rational enterprise. And in those matters where rationality counts, objectivity is the best policy by virtue of this very fact itself.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘Heeding the strictures of morality is part and parcel of a rational being’s cultivation of the good. For us rational creatures morality (the due care for the interests of rational beings) is an integral component of reason’s commitment to the enhancement of value. Reason’s commitment to the value of rationality accordingly carries in its wake a commitment to morality. The obligatoriness of morality ultimately roots in an ontological imperative to value realization with respect to self and world that is incumbent on free agents as such. On this ontological perspective, the ultimate basis of moral duty roots in the obligation we have as rational agents (toward ourselves and the world at large) to make the most and best of our opportunities for self-development. Moral obligation ultimately inheres in this ontological obligation to the realization of values in one’s own life.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘[T]he crucial question for rationality is not that of what we prefer but of what is in our best interests; not simply what we happen to desire but what is good for us in the sense of contributing to the realization of our true interests. The pursuit of what we want is rational only insofar as we have objectively sound reasons for deeming this to be want-deserving. The question of whether what we prefer is preferable, in the sense of deserving this preference, is always relevant. Ends can and (in the context of rationality) must be evaluated. It is not just beliefs that can be stupid, ill-advised, and inappropriate—that is to say, irrational—but ends as well. [….] What separates evaluations from mere preferences is that the former involves standards. In evaluating we bring criteria to bear on whose basis the ideas in question are rated as good or bad, superior or inferior, just or unjust, etc. Evaluations will, as such, have to be backed by reasons articulated in terms of the relevant norms—norms which ultimately inhere in the architecture of our generalizable needs.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘To proceed objectively is…to render oneself perspicuous to others by doing what any reasonable and normally constituted person would do in one’s place, thereby rendering one’s proceedings intelligible to anyone. When the members of a group are objective, they secure great advantages thereby: they lay the groundwork for community by paving the way for mutual understanding, communication, collaboration. And in cognitive matters they also sideline sources of error. For the essence of objectivity lies in its factoring out of one’s deliberations personal predilections, prejudices, idiosyncrasies, and the like that would stand in the way of intelligent people’s reaching the same result. Objectivity follows in reason’s wake because of its effectiveness as a means of averting both isolation and error.’—Nicholas Rescher

‘We learn most of what we know about what makes life worth living, and how to live it well, from non-scientific [or, if you prefer, non-legal] sources–biography, narrative history, serious journalism, and religious texts [I would add ‘philosophy’], not to mention novels, poetry, drama and the visual arts. For Europeans at least, there is more insight to be got from a single volume by Jane Austen or Gustave Flaubert than a whole shelf of treatises on the social psychology of bourgeois love and marriage.’—John Ziman

‘The question of truth and the question of life’s meaning are among the most fundamental questions of moral philosophy. [….] The question of life’s meaning does, as the untheoretical suppose, lead into the question of truth—and conversely.”—David Wiggins

‘To affirm that there can be several different systems all giving us, at the same time, varying and yet legitimate “true” metaphysical descriptions of the world does not…necessarily entail that there are many realities, that nothing is absolutely real, or, put less dramatically, that there is no such thing as a single, context neutral description or account of the world, that is, as the world really is. It only means that no metaphysical description of it can be outside every possible conceptual framework, but Reality itself is. Nor does it follow that any assertions about this “real” or “true” world beyond all conceptual frameworks, are nonsense. [....] The conceptual frameworks we build in the realm of rational thought are not useless just because they cannot describe Ultimate Reality. Serious examination of, reflection on, these explanatory and interpretive schemes, their differences and overlaps, are crucial to expanding and deepening our understanding of reality, even if these conceptual frameworks (any or all possible combinations and collections of them) cannot bring us the Absolute Truth. If nothing else, they enable us to understand the relativity of conceptual truths and structures, and make us see what Pascal meant when he said that the highest function of reason is to show us the limitations of reason.’—Nandini Iyer

‘The propounder of non-absolutism…admits both non-absolutism and absolutism in their proper perspective.’—Ācārya Mahāprajñā (a Jain philosopher)

‘I think that the idealist “picture” calls our attention to vitally important features of our practice—and what is the point of having “pictures” if we are not interested in seeing how well they represent what we actually think and do? That we do not, in practice, actually construct a unique vision of the world, but only a vast number of versions (not all of them equivalent…) is something that “realism” hides from us.’—Hilary Putnam

Sources & Further Reading:
  • Anderson, Elizabeth. Value in Ethics and Economics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
  • Cottingham, John. On the Meaning of Life. London: Routledge, 2003.
  • Cottingham, John. The Spiritual Dimension: Religion, Philosophy and Human Value. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Dupré, John. Human Nature and the Limits of Science. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 2001.
  • Frankena, William K. Ethics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1973.
  • Goldie, Peter. On Personality. London: Routledge, 2004.
  • Goldie, Peter. The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Goodman, Lenn E. In Defense of Truth: A Pluralistic Approach. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books/Prometheus Books, 2001.
  • Iyer, Nandini. “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” in Knut A. Jacobsen, ed. Theory and Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson. Leiden: Brill, 2005: 99-127.
  • Kupperman, Joel. Value…And What Follows. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Lloyd, G.E.R. Cognitive Variations: Reflections on the Unity & Diversity of the Human Mind. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 2007.
  • Lynch, Michael P. Truth in Context: An Essay on Pluralism and Objectivity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998.
  • Lynch, Michael P. True to Life: Why Truth Matters. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004.
  • Lynch, Michael P. Truth as One and Many. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Lynch, Michael P., ed. The Nature of Truth: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Mason, Elinor, “Value Pluralism,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/value-pluralism/.
  • Matilal, Bimal Krishna. The Central Philosophy of Jainism: Anekāntavāda. Ahmedabad: L.D. Institute of Indology, 1981.
  • Mou, Bo, ed. Two Roads to Wisdom? Chinese and Analytic Philosophical Traditions. Chicago, IL: Open Court, 2001.
  • Mulhall, Stephen. “Misplacing Freedom, Displacing the Imagination: Cavell and Murdoch on the Fact/Value Distinction,” in Anthony O’Hear, ed. Philosophy, the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 255-277.
  • Murdoch, Iris. The Sovereignty of Good. London: Routledge, 1991.
  • Murdoch, Iris. Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals. London: Penguin, 1993.
  • Newell, R.W. Objectivity, Empiricism and Truth. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.
  • Norton, David. Democracy and Moral Development: A Politics of Virtue. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Nozick, Robert. Philosophical Explanations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • O’Hear, Anthony, ed. Philosophy, the True, the Good and the Beautiful. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Parekh, Bhikhu. Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
  • Putnam, Hilary. Reason, Truth and History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • Putnam, Hilary (James Conant, ed.). Realism with a Human Face. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990.
  • Putnam, Hilary. The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.
  • Rescher, Nicholas. Pluralism: Against the Demand for Consensus. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1993.
  • Rescher, Nicholas. The Validity of Values. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.
  • Rescher, Nicholas. Objectivity: The Obligations of Impersonal Reason. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997.
  • Rescher, Nicholas. Nature and Understanding: The Metaphysics and Method of Science. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 2000.
  • Rescher, Nicholas. Cognitive Pragmatism: The Theory of Knowledge in Pragmatic Perspective. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001.
  • Sen, Amartya. On Ethics and Economics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1988.
  • Stocker, Michael. Plural and Conflicting Values. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1990.
  • Stocker, Michael (with Elizabeth Hegeman). Valuing Emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Thakchoe, Sonam, “The Theory of Two Truths in India,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2011/entries/twotruths-india/.
  • Thakchoe, Sonam, “The Theory of Two Truths in Tibet,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2011/entries/twotruths-tibet/.
  • Warner, Martin. Philosophical Finesse: Studies in the Art of Rational Persuasion. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 2009.
  • Wedgwood, Ralph. The Nature of Normativity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Wiggins, David. Ethics: Twelve Lectures on the Philosophy of Morality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.
  • Ziman, John. Real Science: What It Is, and What It Means. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Zimmerman, Michael J. The Nature of Intrinsic Value. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001.
  • Zimmerman, Michael J., “Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Value,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/value-intrinsic-extrinsic/.

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