Tobias Rosefeldt, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
04. April 2019 16:45 -18:45 Uhr 2i NIG
The temporal Relativity of Value
Abstract: I will discuss a number of cases of evaluative judgments that have the following puzzling feature: We make them in order to ascribe a positive value to a certain event in the past, and we have very strong and compelling reasons for doing so. But we also acknowledge that, at the time when the evaluated event occurred, we would have had equally strong and compelling reasons not to ascribe this value to the event in question. In most of the cases this temporal relativity of value arises from the fact that the people who exist at the time of the evaluation do not yet (or no longer) exist at the time of the evaluated event. I will discuss several philosophical reactions one might have towards the cases in question and conclude that the most convincing one is to treat the evaluative judgments involved in them as displaying a certain form of truth-value relativism that has been intensively discussed with respect to other phenomena recently. I will also make some tentative remarks about how my proposal might have a bearing on some very hotly debated philosophical topics such as the legitimacy of abortion, population ethics, and the question of whether our own death is harmful for us.