Good (philosophy)

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In philosophy, something is good if it is important or valuable. Objects (things), people, ideas, and actions can be good. Many philosophers (people who study philosophy) have thought about what it means for something to be good. This issue is also called Value.

Economic and philosophical goods[change | change source]

An economic good can become more or less valuable over time. This is because an economic good is valuable because people will give up something (usually money) for it. A philosophical good is always good, even if there are no people to see it. This is because philosophical goods are good because of something in themselves.

Absolute and relative goods[change | change source]

Goods can be absolute or relative. A relative good is something that is good because people say it is good. An absolute good is something that is good because of something in itself. It is good even if there is no one around to see it. For example, an economist may say that the Mona Lisa is a very valuable economic good because it can be sold for a lot of money. A philosopher may say that the painting is good because of how it is painted. The economist sees relative good, because people may later not want to pay for it. The philosopher sees absolute good, because it will always be painted well.