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General and Specific Values

Such values as democracy, freedom, and the right to dissent are stated at a very broad level of generality. Each of them pervades many aspects of life and each is anything but situationally specific.

If a comprehensive list of values were prepared, a large proportion of them would be found to be very general and abstract. Values are, however, also stated in fairly specific terms. Thus, we may define values as physical health or affluence.

On more specific levels yet, we may value between symphonies or powerful automobiles. We may also value silk rather than nylon or the writing of a particular novelist rather than that of another.