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Abstract

The paper argues that the final value of an object—i.e., its value for its own sake—need not be intrinsic. Extrinsic final value, which accrues to things (or persons) in virtue of their relational rather than internal features, cannot be traced back to the intrinsic value of states that involve these things together with their relations. On the contrary, such states, insofar as they are valuable at all, derive their value from the things involved. The endeavour to reduce thing-values to state-values is largely motivated by a mistaken belief that appropriate responses to value must consist in preferring and/or promoting. A pluralist approach to value analysis obviates the need for reduction: the final value of a thing or person can be given an independent interpretation in terms of the appropriate thing- or person-oriented responses: admiration, love, respect, protection, care, cherishing, etc.