Degree of desirability or undesirability attributed to something.
needs some term like "value" to refer to one's likes, dislikes, hates, loves
etc. Four important points to be made about values in general are
1. Values are personal.
2. Values need not be quantitative to be reasonable and understandable.
3. There is no absolute singular order between values from best to worst.
4. Values may derive from feelings or may depend on complicated judgments of
an ideological, religious or
philosophical nature. Most values are to a
considerable extent dependent on one's philosophy, ideology or religion, and
involve both ideas about what
reality is like and what it should be like.
That values are personal may seem to be obvious, but deserves stressing:
Even if one follows an authority, leader, or common prejudice, one chooses it
oneself - and has in common with all other human beings that no one else can
feel one's feelings or make one's choices.
That values need not be quantitative is also fairly to very obvious, yet
worth stressing because in fact so many of one's judgments of values are in
terms of more or less and of degree rather than in terms of precisely how
That values cannot normally be ordered on a single simple scale running
from best to worst is a consequence of
the paradox of preference.
That values may be given - as it were - directly from feelings or may involve a
lot of thinking, guessing and hoping is also rather evident, but deserves
stressing because most values are at least in part ideologically motivated and
involve also ideas about what reality is like, and hence what may and may not be
possible in it.
It is noteworthy, if also fairly obvious, that people's lifes are
oriented around and directed by their judgments of value, possibly guided and
constrained by judgments of probability.
There are two bases for
judgments of values:
Natural needs and acquired personal interests. It is an interesting fact about
human beings that acquired personal interests may be effectively stronger than