The subject of this thesis is formal axiology, i.e., the discipline that deals with structural and conceptual questions about value. The main focus is on intrinsic or final value. The thesis consists of an introduction and six free-standing essays. The purpose of the introduction is to give a general background to the discussions in the essays. The introduction is divided into five sections. Section 1 outlines the subject matter and sketches the methodological framework. Section 2 discusses the supervenience of value, and how my use of that notion squares with the broader methodological framework. Section 3 defends the concept of intrinsic or final value. Section 4 discusses issues in value typology; particularly how intrinsic value relates to final value. Section 5 summarises the essays and provides some specific backgrounds to their respective themes.
The six essays are thematically divided into four categories: The first two deal with specific issues concerning analyses of value. Essay 1 is a comparative discussion of competing approaches in this area. Essay 2 discusses, and proposes a solution to, a significant problem for the so called ‘buck-passing’ analysis of value. Essay 3 discusses the ontological nature of the bearers of final value, and defends the view that they are particularised properties, or tropes. Essay 4 defends conditionalism about final value, i.e., the idea that final value may vary according to context. The last two essays focus on some implications of the formal axiological discussion for normative theory: Essay 5 discusses the charge that the buck-passing analysis prematurely resolves the debate between consequentialism and deontology; essay 6 suggests that conditionalism makes possible a reconciliation between consequentialism and moral particularism.