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Virtual Intrinsic Value and the Principle of Organic Unities

Michael J. Zimmerman
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 653-666
DOI: 10.2307/2653786
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2653786
Page Count: 14
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Virtual Intrinsic Value and the Principle of Organic Unities
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Abstract

This paper argues that Moore's principle of organic unities is false. Advocates of the principle have failed to take note of the distinction between actual intrinsic value and virtual intrinsic value. Purported cases of organic unities, where the actual intrinsic value of a part of a whole is allegedly defeated by the actual intrinsic value of the whole itself, are more plausibly seen as cases where the part in question has no actual intrinsic value but instead a plurality of merely virtual intrinsic values.

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