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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 1, 1975

L. Duane Willard
Pages 54-77
DOI: 10.5840/pra197514

Intrinsic Value in Dewey

It is widely believed that John Dewey completely rejected intrinsic value. The objective of the paper is to show this belief mistaken. Several different concepts of intrinsic value have been offered by philosophers. I argue that while Dewey rejected much in these various concepts, a careful examination of his writings reveals that he still retained the view that at least some things may be worth having, doing, enjoying for their own sakes. Perhaps the major point established is that Dewey's doctrine of the means-ends continuum does not deny the possibility of intrinsic value as he conceives it. This is shown by calling attention to his discussions of ends incorporating means and of conmummatory experiences.

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