The works of Paul Grice collected in this volume present his metaphysical defence of value, and represent a modern attempt to provide a metaphysical foundation for value. Value judgements are viewed as objective; value is part of the world we live in, but nonetheless is constructed by us. We inherit, or seem to inherit, the Aristotelian world in which objects and creatures are characterized in terms of what they are supposed to do. We are thereby enabled to evaluate by reference to function and finality. This much is not surprising. The most striking part of Grice's position, however, is his contention that the legitimacy of such evaluations rests ultimately on an argument for absolute value. The collection includes Grice's three previously unpublished Carus Lectures on the conception of value, a section of his 'Reply to Richards' (previously published in Grandy and Warner (eds.), Philosophical Grounds of Rationality, Oxford, 1986), and 'Method in Philosophical Psychology'(Presidential Address delivered to the Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, 1975).
Paul Grice (1913-1988) was Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, and, until his retirement in 1980, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.