Value, Morality, and Ethics

  • Dustin Marcus Feigerle College of Arts & Science


What is the nature, origin, and ontological status of what we call 'value'? This article argues that value does not exist objectively, but is a purely non-objective phenomenon. Most importantly, I seek to clarify the concept of value and change the orientation of value toward the individual by considering Mackie, Ross, Spinoza, Hobbes, and recent theories regarding group selection. Finally, I conclude by asserting that any form of "greater good" must rest on and be considered at the level of the individual.

Author Biography

Dustin Marcus Feigerle, College of Arts & Science
Dustin M. Feigerle is a fourth-year student majoring in Philosophy and German Studies in the College of Arts & Science. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, he is the recipient of Harold Stirling Vanderbilt and National Merit Scholarships and has been consistently honored on the Dean’s List. His academic studies are highlighted by receipt of the Department of German Language and Literature’s Phillip H. Rhein Memorial Prize and study abroad experiences in London and Germany. After graduation as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in Philosophy and High Honors in German Studies, Feigerle will pursue a master’s degree in the Department of Philosophy at Tufts University.
How to Cite
FEIGERLE, Dustin Marcus. Value, Morality, and Ethics. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 1, may 2005. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2019. doi:
Humanities and Social Sciences


Value Theory and Political Theory