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Hume’s guillotine - the ‘is-ought’ problem in property valuation theory

Manya Mooya

Journal of Property Research, 2022, vol. 39, issue 1, 77-96

Abstract: This paper introduces Hume’s law (the fulcrum of the ‘is-ought’ problem of moral philosophy) into the property valuation literature, and uses it as a prism to reflect on the nature and limitations of standard valuation theory. The paper shows how a consideration of Hume’ thesis can help to clarify and solve some specific practical problems in property valuation. The opportunity presented by the subject of property valuation is, in turn, used to reflect back on Hume’s thesis itself, to show conditions under which Hume’s law may be said to be false. The paper makes important contributions both to the property valuation literature and to the literature on moral philosophy. With respect to property valuation, it proposes a change in the manner conclusions of valuations are reported, and the replacement of the notion of valuation accuracy by the wider and more socially appropriate concept of reasonableness.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09599916.2021.1918222

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