March 13th, 2010


live by the ax, die by the ax

anyone with jstor access want to get me this article?

eta: not one, but two! of my professorial friends sent me this article within just a few hours of posting this entry! happiness is: having awesome friends who also happen to be academics.

in all probability the quest for values, for things and events which are conducive to survival and the enhancement of life, engendered the quest for knowledge of reality. by his very nature man has been primarily interested in how things and events administer to his basic and derivative needs, how they satisfy or frustrate him, how to preserve and promote the good things in life and curtail and erase objects which stifle his zest for living. a mere glance at the history of philosophy shows how deeply man has been preoccupited with the nature of values. the notions of good and bad, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly are as old as the real and apparent. valuational preferences are not artifacts we can dispense with. inquiry into the claims, truth, and validity of value judgments is a necessity of life itself. the concept of value permeates our life at every step. we prefer one thing to another, we shift our attention from one event to another, we praise one behavior and condemn another, we like and dislike, and whenever we do it we value. behind our passions, interests, purposive actions is the belief that they are worthwhile. we attach to them different degrees of importance or value. we speak about good and bad aims, noble and mean actions, beautiful and ugly objects, pious and impious intentions and deeds. our whole life moves between attraction and repulsion. events are alluring, enhancing, fascinating or repugnant, loathsome, and obnoxious. in fact, we not only value, but are always conscious of a scale of values, which scale rests with degree and quality of satisfactions [and dissatisfactions].

i need / i want