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An examination of C.I. Lewis' conception of valuation King, David Joseph

Abstract

A descriptive and critical account of the theory of valuation presented by C.I. Lewis in An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation. Both the a priori and empirical basis for the theory are examined. The essential weakness of the theory lies in an inability to overcome some of the criticisms of the emotivists, especially in the concept of the ultimately valuable. Hence Lewis in unable, even, to present a view as plausible as the emotivists in that his theory of evaluation is, for all practical purposes, a tautology. In order to overcome this difficulty Lewis must hypostatize some non-empirical property or some imperative. However, Lewis has presented the most comprehensive and analytic defense of a naturalistic system since the appearance of Perry's Interest Theory. Many of the value concepts are analyzed showing the development and structure of Lewis' theory.

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