Values

Values are that which we seek to achieve or maintain according to our life as the standard of evaluation. Values are the motive power behind purposeful action. They are the ends to which we act. Without them, life would be impossible. Life requires self-generated action to sustain itself. Without values, one could not act, and death would follow.

Value specifies a relationship between a person and a goal. A value requires a valuer--a particular person who aims to achieve or maintain something. An object cannot have value in itself. Value is relational, and so requires a person and a goal. The goal to which one aims is called the "value", but the relationship is always required. This means an object cannot be a value in itself. It only gains the title of value when a person acts to achieve or maintain it.

Values are essential to ethics. Ethics is concerned with human actions, and the choice of those actions. Ethics evaluates those actions, and the values that underlies them. It determines which values should be pursued, and which shouldn't. Ethics is a code of values.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands