What Really Matters? Reflections on Human Values
A graduate conference organized by Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value, University of Pardubice
August 24-26, 2022, Pardubice, Czech Republic
Date: 24th - 26th August 2022
Conference Venue: The historical building of the University of Pardubice, Room 03004 (nám. Čs. legií 565, 530 02 Pardubice I)
Roger Crisp (Oxford University)
Debbie Roberts (University of Edinburgh)
The aim of the second edition of the PhD conference organised by the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value is to promote novel research about what we value, how we value it, why we do so at all; and how we think, speak, and write about our answers to these questions. The following questions come into consideration - where do we get our values from in the first place? Are there distinct sorts of values, or distinct ways of valuing them? Are some things always more valuable than others?
This topic is of philosophical interest precisely because it is something we all have to confront outside of philosophy, inexorably, each and every day. In society, in politics, in business, in art, we constantly must consider and reconsider what we think really matters, what is truly important; and why we think so.
There are seemingly two approaches that we can take when deliberating about this topic. Traditional approaches in the philosophy of value involve giving direct, universal answers to these sorts of questions: telling us variously that there is one master value, a plurality of values, or a hierarchy of values, and why we should think so. A relatively recent trend in the theory of value, as opposed to the traditionally more static approach stated above, focuses on the importance of context in our evaluations. For example, can something that is good in one place be bad in another? Can our values come into conflict, depending on the situation?