Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Good-For and Good-Simpliciter

Abma, Aaron (2024) Good-For and Good-Simpliciter. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 13 May 2026.

Download (1MB) | Request a Copy


A fundamental problem in practical philosophy is how to account for the value of everything that is valuable, in all its variety. According to a popular view I call good-for theory, something is valuable only if and because it is good for someone, in the sense of being beneficial to them. I offer a new argument against good-for theory by starting with the substantive claim that some symbolic acts—such as refusing to participate in harmful systems or standing for certain ideals—are valuable even when inefficacious and costly. Good-for theory cannot satisfactorily account for the value of these acts—they are at best disvaluable side-effects of beneficial dispositions or practices. I draw the positive conclusion that symbolic value is a pervasive but underappreciated dimension of value which we can best make sense of by positing that some things are good-simpliciter. I take the view that good-simpliciter is the value things possess such that they are worthy of love, and I develop novel accounts of wellbeing, virtue, and good action with good-simpliciter at their center. I propose that the highest human good is loving and being loved by what is good-simpliciter, that a good person is one whose loves are well-ordered according to what is good-simpliciter, and that a good act is one which befits such well-ordered love. In this way, I take foundational discussions about the nature of value to inform our answers to focal questions in normative ethics.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Abma, Aaronafa36@pitt.eduafa360000-0002-7455-2006
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTheunissen, L. Nandilit44@pitt.edulit44
Committee MemberBuss,
Committee MemberPallikkathayil, Japajapa@pitt.edujapa
Committee MemberLewinsohn, Jedjed@pitt.edujed
Date: 13 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 March 2024
Approval Date: 13 May 2024
Submission Date: 1 April 2024
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 247
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Value, good, goodness, ethics, benefit, love, good-for, good-simpliciter, absolute goodness, normativity, consequentialism, indirect consequentialism, wellbeing, welfare, welfarism, virtue, symbolic value, causal inefficacy
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 13:41
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 13:41


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item