Value is that which has importance, that for whose possession the individuals and society endeavour, that for which they live and for which they can make sacrifice. Economics makes a quantitative interpretation of value. For it, value is that which has practical utility and can be exchanged. Objects satisfying desires are valuable. Ethics interprets values qualitatively.
Values assist in the fulfilment of man’s desire. As Urban puts it, “Value is that which satisfies human desire.” Value is of assistance in the preservation and development of life. It directs one towards self realisation and self development
Pleasure and Value:
In Ward’s opinion, value is objective, desire itself having no value. Value is implicit in the object which satisfies desire. Fulfillment of desire gives pleasure, thus die feeling of value is in the sense of pleasure.
In the words of Mackenzie, “Pleasure may fairly be described as sense of value.’ Pleasurability is the subjective sign of value. But pleasure cannot be credited as the sole subject matter of intrinsic value. The reasons for this follow—
(1) Pleasure is merely affective value satisfies every aspect:
Pleasure is related to the affective aspect of man. But man also has an intellectual aspect and its satisfaction is at least as important as that of the affective aspect Thus pleasurable object cannot be said to be of value to the entire self. Total welfare should be one which can render satisfaction to both affective and rational aspects.
(2) Pleasure is subjective and value is objective:
As Ward has maintained quite correctly, values are objective. On the other hand pleasure is subjective. Thus pleasure cannot be said to be of intrinsic value. The supreme value is both subjective and objective.
(3) Difference of standard:
The standard of pleasure is quantitative and that of value qualitative. Thus, values cannot be distinguished on the basis of pleasure, because it cannot pronounce the difference between superior and inferior values. The identification of pleasure with value is incorrect
(4) Difference in nature:
The nature of pleasure and value differs. Pleasure is momentary and transient. It is individual and cannot therefore assimilate egoism and altruism. Thus, pleasure cannot be made the standard of value.
The supreme value should be permanently self satisfying, intrinsic and an end in itself. It must include the satisfaction of co native aspects besides the effective aspect it organizes all the parts of character in the form of a balanced unit it creates an assimilation or synthesis between selfishness and selflessness. This pleasure cannot be conceded as the solitary subject matter of intrinsic value.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Values:
Some objects are ends in themselves whilst others are mere means to the attainment of other objects. Extrinsic values are temporary and instrumental values. Intrinsic values are permanent and ultimate values. In the words of Wright, “An intrinsic value is of worth on its own account; an instrumental value because of its consequence. Generally truth, beauty and good or virtue are accredited intrinsic values.
They are not the means to an attainment of other objects. Individual goods are subordinate to them. In spite being attained by individuals they are independent of individuals. In some form or the other they give spiritual satisfaction to the soul. Truth, beauty and good render satisfaction, respectively, to the cognitive, affective and conative aspects. Like these three aspects of the self, these three absolute values too are inseparably mutually conjoined although this relation of theirs cannot be rationally explained with exactitude.
Moral Judgment is Axiological:
Morality is dependent upon moral evaluation. We deteimine the value of a particular action by comparison with some moral standard. The moral value of an action is known by calling it good and its negative value by calling it bad.
In moral judgement goodness or badness is adjudged in comparison with the absolute good. This absolute good is the absolute value and it is on its basis that the value of human actions is determined. Thus all moral judgments are axiological. The very aim of ethics is the organisation of valves. Attainment of values is the duty of humanity.
In this way, value has two forms-intrinsic and extrinsic, absolute and instrumental, permanent and transient.
Forms of Value:
Absolute values and intrinsic values are permanent and ends in themselves. Instrumental values and extrinsic values are transient and merely means. Morality is concerned with the former class of valves. Absolute good is the absolute value. That which is the means to some good is of instrumental value.
Absolute value is the determinant of good and evil:
It is the absolute value which determines good and evil. Value is that which fulfils human desires but values are categorized in the same way as desires are categorized. As a general rule, all objects possess value by virtue of satisfying some desire or the all objects cannot be declared to be of equal value for this reason.
The values of health, wealth, exercise, food, justice and truth, differ from one another. They are characterized by distinctions of higher and lower, base or mean. Some among them are absolute values while others are instrumental values.
Money, exercise and food etc., being the means to the preservation of life are instrumental values. Respect and authority are also instrumental values because they assist life. Justice and truth however, are not means but ends in themselves.
Thus, they are intrinsic values. We want them for themselves. Moral absolute good is also a similar kind of intrinsic value. All other values are instrumental in relation to it the qualitative evaluation of all objects is done in the context of absolute good.
In this way, value theory includes the highest and lowest values. Human values can be classified by means of the concept of self realization. An object gravitating in the direction of self perfectionism is good and valuable while the one hind ring such progress is evil and of negative value.
Moral absolute good is absolute Value:
Moral absolute good is also the absolute value. Kant treats good will as the sole intrinsic value. Will is the mirror of the character. In human character, moral will is the absolute good and the absolute and intrinsic value. It is the end and it renders permanent satisfaction to man. According to the advocates of the theory of value, the only thing intrinsically valuable is the one which gives permanent satisfaction and and pleasure to man.
Moral values are both individual and universal. The absolute good, though achieved by man is still a universal value. Absolute good gives pleasure, though pleasure cannot be said to be the absolute good. Value is that to which man gives importance, which he experiences and to which man concurs in action. In this way, value rules over conduct. Thus, it is essential to know the nature of value.
Value is dynamic:
Value is changeable with time and place. It is dynamic. It is always undergoing an evolutionary process. Every person treats objects as valuable according to his own level of consciousness. It transpires from a comparative study of value that all values are commensurable or every value can be measured and its position in the grades of values be determined.
But, because moral evolution is not quantitative, moral values are unique, and not commensurable with other values. Their knowledge is the origin of dutiful reason and moral obligation. Conjoined to them are moral feelings. Moral values can be accepted as commensurable only in one meaning.
In self-perfection, knowledge and beauty have an undeniable place along with will. Truth, beauty and good can together grant complete satiation to the self. All three are valuable by virtue of being capable of satisfying the soul in one way or another. Thus, they can be considered commensurable in the form of different constituents of the absolute good.
Formalistic Purposivistic opinion:
Truth and good are concepts of the evolution of moral conduct. Truth is the basis of the formalistic viewpoint and good represents the purposivistic viewpoint According to it, moral reason declares some actions to be true and others false, without any consideration of results, the formalistic viewpoint being intuitive.
These actions are absolutely true or false. The moral concept of the purposivistic opinion is good. According to it, any action can be said to be good or bad only after considerations of good and bad results, utility and disutility. The upholders of moral or aesthetic sense, philosophical or unphilosophical intuitionists are formalists. On the other hand, among the purposivists the concepts of absolute good do not coincide and consequently there are different opinions on the subject of moral value. Hedonists treat pleasure as the absolute good, rationalists reason, and perfectionists perfection. Hedonistic and Self Perfectionistic views
The purposivists include both hedonism and self perfectionism. Hedonists are realists, the self perfectionist’s idealists. According to Hedonism, pleasure is the end and the absolute pleasure is always good and pain invariably bad. Bentham, Mill and other hedonists treat result and not motivating causes as the basis of morality. A pleasure giving action is good and a paingiving action bad or evil.
Evolutionist and Idealist views:
Self perfectionism also has two opinions-evolutionist and idealist. According to the evolutionists, the ultimate aim of life is pleasure and the immediate aim is length and breath of life. Herbert Spencer treats the evolution of biological life as self improvement. On the other hand, idealists like Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, Green, Bradley and Bosanquet adopt the rational meaning of self improvement.
Value theory assimilates all these:
In the theory of standard as value there is an assimilation of all the foregoing moral principles. Pleasure, reason, evolution, all have differing values. Theory of value does not reject any value but tries to understand the absolute and everlasting value which is universal. The conceptions of different people regarding values change along with a change in nature, character and levels of consciousness.
A value philosopher tries to understand the highest to the lowest value and distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic values. But instead of disregarding extrinsic values he defines their relation with intrinsic values. In this way, according to value theory all values related to physique and recreation, have their individual places in the striving economy, for the absolute value.
This absolute value is self realisation in which there is mutual harmony of the various aspects of human personality. In spiritual satisfaction, the correct measure of satisfaction of all aspects-physical, rational and aesthetic-is inherent There is a correct assimilation of knowledge, beauty, culture and virtues in it.
A connected series of value is the absolute good. In this chain different values occupy different places. Rational value is superior to physical value and inferior to the spiritual value. Whenever the question of choice occurs, the higher is always preferable to the lower, intrinsic to the extrinsic. Values have qualitative and not quantitative distinctions. No matter how much may be its quantitative superiority, a lower good cannot supersede a higher good.
Thus in every circumstance, the greater or superior value ought to be chosen. The attainment of values being impossible in normal life, choice has to be exercised. According to value theory, we should endeavour to possess all values in organic form but if this is not possible, then we should measure and select the most superior value.
The valuists believe truth, beauty and good to be intrinsic values based upon cognitive, conative and affective aspects. They are ends in themselves. Truth, beauty and good satisfy respectively the cognitive, conative and affective aspects of the self. Among them, moral value occupies an unequalled position in character. It takes us towards virtue. Moral duty and moral obligation are implied in it It is good in itself.
In value theory, that which has moral value is good. It can be both means and end. An increase in moral value means an increase in moral good. Moral good is based upon absolute good. Absolute good gives complete satisfaction to a rational being, although it is extremely difficult. i possess it .The endeavour to attain the state of absolute good, absolute welfare and absolute beauty is moral good. It is based on the conception of perfection. I’ is good even when painful. It is based not on pleasure but on man’s dissatisfaction with the prevailing circumstances.
Standard of Moral judgment:
Right and wrong are judged with reference to end. Actions prevailing in favour of progress in good are right and those hindering it, wrong. There being differences in individual and social assumptions regarding good and bad, the question so subjective and objective propriety arises.
Roughly, there may be some distinction between subjective and objective, individual and social good, but from the moral viewpoint, not such difference exists. Real good will is both subjective and objective.
The welfare of everyone lies hidden in individual welfare. It is the individual’s duty that he should try to achieve the maximum increase in the value of both means and ends. Moral good can be understood in the form of both means and ends.
It proceeds towards the metaphysical viewpoint it is based on reason. In a particular situation, it is beneficial to both society and die individual. It proceeds in the direction of absolute good where sin and virtue lose their distinction which is beyond good and evil.
Actually, standard as value presents perfectionism, in a novel form, which is described in the 10th chapter. Its basis is the realization of the integral self. Its specialty is that in using the word ‘value’, it assimilated formalistic and purposivistic, realistic and idealistic principles, otherwise it is perfectionism in a different guise.