Theories of value are often classified in terms of the subjective-objective distinction. Subjectivist theories hold that value is dependent on producing pleasure, being desired, or preferred, or more abstractly, on what would be preferred in certain ideal conditions. Utilitarianism theories of value, such as hedonism and its descendents, desire and preference satisfaction theories, are paradigmatic subjectivist accounts of value. By contrast, objectivist theories of value say that certain things and states are valuable independently whether they produce pleasure, are desired, or preferred. Perfectionism is an objectivist theory of value according to which goodness depends on the actualization or perfection of human nature. According to Aristotle , for instance, fulfilling the function (ergon) of a human being involves the exercise and perfection of its rational capacities. It follows that the good life for man involves the attainment of virtue or excellence (arête) in reason.
Social and political philosophy
If most people who live along a short river toss their garbage in the river, so that it is always full of garbage, then your tossing your own garbage in the river makes no difference to the river, and it saves the inconvenience of driving a few miles to the dump. So consequentialism would seem to support your tossing your garbage in the river. But if everyone hauled their garbage a few miles to the dump instead, in a year or two everyone would have a nice river, which is much more valuable to each person than the minor convenience of not having to haul one’s garbage to the dump. In this case, if each person follows consequentialism, the results are predictably worse than if everyone does something else instead. Thus consequentialism seems to defeat its own purpose.