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Abstract

In this project, I develop ideas from recent work in the philosophy of mind in order to offer a positive and novel argument for value realism. The central move is a (re)consideration of the sorts of psychological attitudes—desires, beliefs, judgments, intentions, and so on—that have typically served as the basis for the wide variety of anti-realist accounts of value. These sorts of attitudes, I argue, can only do the sort of work the anti-realist requires of them when they are viewed from a third-personal perspective. From the point of view of their possessor, these attitudes display what I can 'transparency'; they are her response to a world that she finds already laden with value. This is the case even for such mundane and idiosyncratic attitudes as a preference in ice-cream flavor, which on my account are also to be understood as perceptions of realist value. I show how this seemingly counter-intuitive thought can be made sense of within the framework of a broad pluralism about value, combined with an account of differing forms and degrees of ‘value expertise’ possessed by different people.

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