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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 9, 2006

Philosophical Anthropology

Abdullah Kaygi
Pages 97-102

Value-Judgements and Values

In the human world if there is knowledge about something, if this knowledge is true, then there must be a connection between the epistemological object and the judgment that gives us knowledge about this object. It seems that there is a universal consensus about that. But when the issue is knowledge about value and values, judgments about the value of something and about values are not considered to be genuine. This is a typical prejudice of our age about value and values. It is true that so-called value-judgments, i.e. judgments in which people call things good or bad, are not genuine judgments, because they don't possess any epistemological object. But propositions about values, which are also called 'judgments', as well as 'statements' or 'assertions', are not the same as value-judgments, because this kind of knowledge, too, is about something that is independent of the person who puts forward such a judgment, something that has its own ontical specificity. Judgments or propositions or statements about values are knowledge, and can provide knowledge, while value-judgments are not knowledge and cannot provide any knowledge. Knowledge about the value of something and about values do seem to be judgments, but this cannot justify the confusion of such a judgment with a value-judgment. To dispel such confusion, first of all we have to clarify the terms we use.