The Ontology of Lives

frequently say: “he has a good life” and use this expression (pace: Shelly Kagan) interchangeably
with “he is well-off”. When someone is
doing poorly, when things are not going well for that person, we say “his life
is not worth living”. When someone enjoys a high degree of welfare, then he is
leading a life that is worth living; it is good in itself for him.

then is a person’s life? In other words,
in which ontology category do lives belong?

theory of lives should be dictated by four constraints. First, lives
are the sorts of things that can be bearers of intrinsic value; lives can
be good or bad in themselves. Second, we
do not want our theory of the metaphysics of lives to rule out any substantive
axiological theory about what makes them good or bad. It would be very strange if our metaphysics
dictated our ethics, at least in this way. Third, our theory must be consistent with the role that lives play in
our commonsense talk about them. Our
commonsense conception of lives treats lives like narratives or stories. Lives can be interesting or boring; things
happen in them; they can be short or long.  Fourth, the relationship between a life and
the things within them that gives the life its value should be explicable, and
explicitly stated.

I like the following conception of lives, which is
broadly Chisholmesque.  I take a person’s
life to be a class of propositions. Specifically, a person’s life is the class of true propositions that are about
that person.

The notion of a proposition being about something is
intuitive, and examples should suffice to make the meaning of this phrase
sufficiently clear for our purposes: the proposition that Ben is hungry is about
Ben and the property of being hungry. The proposition that every person is hungry is about the properties of
being a person and being hungry, but is not about Ben, although it implies a
proposition that is about Ben. More
generally, a person’s life at a possible world w is the set of propositions about that person that are true at w.

view fits in nicely with a view about the basic
of intrinsic value.  I take the
primary bearers of intrinsic value to be finely
propositions or states of affairs. (Philosophers who have defended this kind of view include Chisholm,
Fred Feldman, and Michael Zimmerman; I believe that this view can be traced
back to Brentano).

There are some interesting features about this
account of lives. First, we can give a
clear account of how a life can have intrinsic value in virtue of the intrinsic
values of its constituents. I am
inclined to think that every proposition enjoys some intrinsic value, just as
every proposition enjoys a truth-value. The intrinsic value of most propositions will be zero, but to say that
the intrinsic value of a proposition is zero is not to say that it has no
value. (A rock or a number is not the
sort of thing that can have any amount of intrinsic value, not even zero.)

The goal of an axiological theory is to provide
principles that (1) tell us the intrinsic values of the basic bearers of
intrinsic value and (2) tell us how the intrinsic values of the non-basic
bearers of intrinsic values, such as lives or possible worlds, are determined by
the basic bearers of intrinsic values. For example, standard hedonism
says that the basic bearers of intrinsic value are propositions of the form “s feels pleasure (or pain) to degree n from t1 until t2”; standard
hedonism also says that the intrinsic value of a more complicated entity, such
as a life or a whole possible world, is simply the sum of the intrinsic values
of the components of that entity.

However, this theory of lives doesn’t seem to rule
out any substantive axiological claims; it is consistent with
desire-satisfactionist views, perfectionist views, hedonistic views,
pluralistic views, etc.

The lives that we evaluate in axiology can not
plausibly be identified with biological
, which I take to be complicated events. There is much more going on a person’s life
in the sense relevant to ethics than in the sense relevant to biology. Moreover, it is not plausible to claim that biological lives are the sorts of things
that we should be assigning value to. It
is not unreasonable to claim that having one’s desires satisfied, being a
mutually loving relationship with another person, or having interesting
knowledge are intrinsically valuable. But none of these is an element of a person’s biological life. Person’s biological lives are events that
occur where the person is located; they are events in the person’s body. If we take biological lives to be the
appropriate object of axiological evaluation, we surrender the central
intuition that what happens in one’s
life is what determines its value.

Some questions.  First: I haven’t argued for this theory; I’ve just said I like it, and mentioned some neat things about it.  In general, how does one determine to which ontological category the objects of axiological evaluation belong?  Second, are there problems with this theory?  Is it as neutral as I’d like it to be?  What are the popular alternatives to this view?

32 Replies to “The Ontology of Lives

  1. I like that view of lives too, in some ways. I think the biggest problem is it doesn’t satisfy your third constraint. It makes every single proposition part of your life in some way, and that violates the way we talk about lives. For any P, there’s the proposition *Kris exists and P* which gets to be part of your life. Those things won’t get any basic intrinsic value, so the problem is mitigated a bit. But not all those things should be part of your life. I don’t have any good suggestions for getting around that problem so I’ve just learned to live with it.

  2. Here’s a simpleminded solution to the problem raised by Ben: exclude propositions that are conjunctions. (Or, perhaps equivalently, only include conjunctions if both conjuncts are about the person.) Maybe there are problems with that, too. But I couldn’t think of any in the first thirty seconds or so after the idea came to me. So I thought I’d put it out there.

  3. I think there are lots of views according to which the basics are conjunctions. E.g. I think the simplest sort of desire satisfactionism is the view that the basic intrinsic goods are conjunctions of the form *S desires that P, and P*, where P need not be about S. Lots of people have thought that true belief has intrinsic value; if so, some basic igoods would have the form *S believes that P, and P*. I hold neither of these views but I wouldn’t want them ruled out by the metaphysics.

  4. Ben,
    A common objection to crude desire-satisfactionism is that it includes in a person’s wellbeing things that have nothing to do with the person’s life. (Think of Parfit’s “stranger on the train”, for example.) Would you say that this objection is unfair because it rules out the view on metaphysical grounds?

  5. Good point. But I don’t think those sorts of objections are really based on ontological claims about lives. Suppose the view of lives Kris likes turns out to be right. Would that help crude desire-satisfactionism get around those objections? I don’t think it would help much. (It would be sort of interesting if it did though, because it would open up new lines of defense for desire satisfactionists.)

  6. If your question is to what ontological category lives belong, then just saying that they are propositions doesn’t answer the question at all before you give an ontological account of propositions. At least in philosophy of language there has been age-old disagreements about propositions and what they are: platonic entities that have a being of their own (extravagant metaphysics?), sets of possible worlds, functions from possible worlds to truth values, structured intensions, and so on. A lot of people have tried to do without propositions altogether just because of their ontological problems. So, I guess my main point is that introducing propositions to account for the ontology of lives has the problem that ontology of propositions is pretty mysterious too, maybe even more mysterious than that of lives.
    Second problem is that propositions just seem to get the ontological category wrong. My life seems to be something I am living and something that has properties such as long, fun, sad, painful etc. But if propositions are at least in some sense linguistic entities, it’s not certain that I am living one such or that such an entity can be painful, long etc. Rather claims like ‘my life is painful’ expresses propositions that are true or false – *about my life* not about another proposition. So, I might worry that there is a category mistake in your proposal.

  7. I think your account of lives violates your second constraint, which is that accounts of lives are supposed to be neutral with respect to substantive ethical matters. At the end of the post, though, you say that what we value is not a biological life, a point that is clearly going to do some work in bioethics.
    My view is that this inconsistency tells more against your second constraint than against your account of lives. I suspect it is impossible to come up with a metaphysics of lives that is ethically neutral.

  8. I don’t know the literature on these issues at all, but here are a couple of thoughts:
    I think the view violates the third constraint.
    Our commonsense conception of lives treats lives like narratives or stories. Lives can be interesting or boring; things happen in them; they can be short or long.
    None of this is true of classes of propositions — a class of propositions cannot be interesting or boring, and events don’t occur in them, and they cannot be short or long. Indeed, classes of propositions are presumably abstract; does this mean that there can be no causal interactions with lives? And it seems that all lives are eternal, since presumably, classes of propositions are.
    (I’m also pretty skeptical about the idea that propositions have intrinsic value.)
    Here’s an alternative thought: maybe lives are events. This will at least do justice to a lot more of our talk — we can talk about a temporal duration of a life, and we can interact with lives.

  9. Heath,
    I don’t see the inconsistency. All Kris was saying was that if a life is construed biologically, some important personal goods will not be parts of lives. So the biological conception of a life is too restrictive to play the appropriate role. How does that rule out any substantive theories of wellbeing?

  10. Jonathan,
    Why can’t a class of propositions be interesting or boring?
    If events are fine-grained, I would be OK with saying that lives are events. I don’t really have a very good grip on the differences between these things. People call events “concrete” and propositions “abstract,” but I don’t know what they mean.

  11. Ben,
    One might very well think that lives are better if they are long rather than short, or if they are healthy rather than full of sickness. These are biological properties. (They also tell against the third constraint: classes of propositions are not long, short, healthy or sick.)
    If “it is not plausible to claim that biological lives are the sorts of things that we should be assigning value to” means simply that our lives are not exhausted by their biological aspects, okay. But the theory sounds as if what’s valuable is some strictly non-biological aspect of me, my consciousness or mind perhaps, and that is question-begging (and, according to me, false).

  12. Heath,
    I don’t see any disagreement here. The Chisholmian can say that among the propositions that make a life better are propositions of the form *S is healthy* or *S lives for n years*.

  13. Please, could someone explain to me what you are meaning with propositions here? I always thought that at least propositions are intentional, about something. And, thus they can be true or false when they correspond to how things are in the world or fail to do so. If lives are propositions, they surely ought to share this feature with other propositions. But, how lives could be about something and true or false if something in the world corresponds to them (what would that be)? I just don’t get this. I thought there could be propositions about lives. These would be the ones that feature as content in our propositional attitudes about our lives and how they go – in our beliefs about how our lives go, in our desires and fears about our lives, and so on. But I really must be missing something here.
    I guess this comes out in Ben’s comment. My intuition, like Heath’s, just is that what we care about is health and the years we can live, not the propositions ‘I am healthy’ or ‘I’ll live n years’. Keep in mind that these propositions can be true or false, and it’s not sure in what way, if any, I can have them. At least I can be healthy and live long.

  14. Jussi,
    I can’t speak for Kris. But I often use ‘proposition’ interchangeably with ‘state of affairs’, and I think of true propositions not as *corresponding to* facts, but as actually *being* facts. A fact is a true proposition. (I think this might have been Chisholm’s view.) Facts are about things, just like propositions are. Some facts are about people. Some combinations of those facts constitute lives. So, my life is about me. If there’s a difference between propositions and states of affairs/facts, and propositions correspond to facts, then I agree with you – lives are facts, and are merely represented by propositions. I haven’t thought a whole lot about this, so there might be lots of things wrong with what I just said. Again, I don’t know if Kris is thinking about things in this way.

  15. Ben,
    A big Thank You for that clarification. If the view is that the constituents of lives are true propositions by which facts/state of affairs are meant, then this starts to sound plausible if not even trivial. Would anyone want to deny that their lives consist of states of affairs? That much must be true even if not very informative.
    Something doesn’t still quite square though. You say that propositions are states of affairs, and accept that propositions represent. This would seem to imply that states of affairs are representive of something, which sounds odd. I guess I was just confused because your use of propositions and facts is not the one I’ve seen often talked about. I guess it’s Wittgensteinian influence to think that ‘the world is totality of facts’ and that propositions represent these facts of which the world is constituted.

  16. Sorry for being slow to respond. I’m in agreement with Ben. Facts = true propositions = obtaining states of affairs= occuring events. I should have been more clear about that. We have a lot of names for basically the same kind of beast. There’s probably good reasons to believe in these things, but I don’t know of any good reason to distinguish propositions from states of affairs (in the Chisholm/Plantinga sense of that term), from events.
    Some other thoughts:
    (1) Christian wondered whether something has to be alive in order to have a life in this sense. Obviously, you don’t have to be alive in order to have something that a lot like what I’m calling a life, i.e., you don’t have to be alive in order for their to be a maximal set of true propositions about you. Maybe we shouldn’t call that thing your “life”; maybe we should call it your “story” or “narrative” or somesuch.
    That there is something analogous to lives might actually have some nice features. It might be possible for there to be things that strictly speaking aren’t alive, but do have mental states, and could conceivably have a welfare. I can envision some philosophers wanting to argue that some nonliving, nonconscious things can be harmed, and hence have welfare. (Maybe the environment is an example.) I’m not saying that I agree with these claims, but we can make sense of them in this framework.
    There’s another positive upshot; this view might help solve the alleged paradox about whether it makes sense to say that someone would have been off had he never been born. (More on this later in a seperate post.)

  17. Just for the record, I am pretty certain that most philosophers use the term ‘proposition’ for the things that we assert and believe. Obviously you (Ben and Kris) can use it for states of affairs or facts or events; I’m just noting that it’s an unusual usage.

  18. Can’t facts be asserted and believed? I am looking out my window. I believe that it’s snowing. Sadly, the object of my belief is a fact. Why not?

  19. Ben and Kris,
    If you think that to be a true proposition is ontologically speaking to be an obtaining states of affairs, what kind of ontological beasts do you think false propositions are, and what, if anything, they share in common with true propositions so that both are propositions?

  20. Jamie and Jussi:
    Propositions are objects that serve as the meanings of declaritive sentences, the referents of “that” clauses, the objects of belief, desire, and other “propositional attitudes.” They are the sorts of things that can be true or false, and stand in various logical relations to each other.
    These are the roles that propositions are intended to play.
    Some philosophers (such as Plantinga) use the phrase “state of affairs” to indicate objects that behave in pretty analogous ways: states of affairs can obtain or fail to obtain (just as propositions can be true or false), stand in various “logical” relations to each other (propositions can entail other propositions, states of affairs necessitate other states of affairs), and can be the referents of various linguistic expression, such as, “Fred’s being red.”
    There’s no reason to think that the things that satisfy this conception of propositions are *not* the things that satisfy this conception of states of affairs. And there seems to be a very good reason to think that we are dealing with the same bunch of entities in both cases.
    Some people use the phrase “state of affairs” differently, where these things are explicitly denied to be true propositions, but instead are held to be the “truth-makers” for these propositions. (This is Russell’s view of states of affairs in the Philosophy of Logical Atomism; D.M. Armstrong is the most well-known contemporary advocate of this view.) On this usage, if a state of affairs doesn’t obtain, then that state of affairs doesn’t exist. There are no “false” states of affairs; most states of affairs are contingently existing objects.
    I don’t believe in these kinds of states of affairs. But if I did, I would be willing to consider the claim that they are bearers of intrinsic value (and not propositions). This seemed to have been Ross’s view, if I’m remembering correctly.
    The question I’ve been struggling with is this: how do we determine which kinds of things are the bearers of intrinsic value? I believe that somethings have intrinsic value, and this is an “objective fact.” There must be some fact of the matter about which kinds of things in the world have intrinsic value.
    The reason I like the Chisholmian view is that it is neat, that is, systematically very tidy. Some propositions are basic bearers of intrinsic value; lives are classes (or conjunctions) of propositions, and thus inherit intrinsic value from their elements; consequences of actions are classes (or conjunctions) of propositions, and thus inherit intrinsic value from their elements; possible worlds are classes (or conjunctions) of propositions, and similarly inherit intrinsic value from their elements. A substantive axiological theory will identify the basic bearers of intrinsic value, and also propose principles that determine the values of the non-basic bearers, such as lives, consequences of actions, or whole possible worlds.
    The theory is neat (and elegant), and the ontology of the theory is reasonable, but I don’t know any direct argument for it.
    Suppose we had a richer ontology, which included Russellian facts as well as propositions. How would we decide which of these kinds of things had value?

  21. I can no longer tell what’s a difference in terminology and what’s a substantive view.
    Facts, as I understand them, explain things; also, we can be aware of them. Propositions are the things we can believe and assert.

    There’s no reason to think that the things that satisfy this conception of propositions are *not* the things that satisfy this conception of states of affairs.

    I think there are pretty good reasons.

    1. I believe what she asserted.
    2. What explains our chagrin is the fact that there is nothing in the freezer.
    3. * What she believes is the fact that there is nothing in the freezer.
    4. * What he said is the fact that there is nothing in the freezer.
    5. ? I am aware of what she said.
    6. ? What she said explains our concern.

    (4) doesn’t meant that what she said is the same as what I am aware of; rather, it means that I am aware of her saying it.
    (5) might be a case for facts (explainers) and propositions (asserteds) being the same thing.

  22. Jamie:
    I agree that facts explain things, that is, some true propositions are explanatorily relevant to other true propositions.
    I also agree that we are aware of facts. Perception is a propositional attitude: we see that the car is red; we see that the cat is on the matt, etc.
    I’m pretty dubious about the linguistic evidence you cite. I agree that some of those sentences sound odd. Your (3) is a little bit odd, I suppose, because we typically don’t express a stand on whether a belief is true or not when we report what the belief is and who holds it, at least typically not in the same sentence. But sometimes we do say things like this:
    (7) She believes that the sky is blue, and that’s a fact.
    (8) She believes that the sky is red, and that isn’t true.
    (7) seems to imply that the same thing believed is a fact. (Its natural contrary is (8).)
    Someone both inclined to say something like (7) and to say it shortly might say:
    (9) She believes the fact that the sky is blue.
    (7) is clearly ok to say, so what’s so bad about (9)? And (9) is a lot like your (3). (Same remarks apply to sentence (4)).
    (5) seems to me to be ambiguous. Both readings you mention seem permissible to me.
    Consider this conversation:
    (A) Jim and Sally are getting married. Did you know that?
    (B) I was aware of that.
    (c) Sorry, B, I didn’t catch what you just said. What did you say?
    (B) I said that I was aware of what Jim just said.

    (B)’s second remark seems fine to me. I don’t think anyone would raise an eyebrow if (B) said that. That’s a lot like your (5).

    Maybe I’m wrong, and the sentences you’ve mentioned are way more screwed up than I think they are. I would hesitate to infer that facts couln’t be true propositions from this fact alone. It sounds awfully weird to say that my current belief that the sky is blue is located in space, but that might nonetheless be true.
    But suppose we’ve settled the ontology, one way or the other. What’s the procedure for determining which things in the ontology are the bearers of value?
    Second question: suppose we haven’t settled the ontology, but we’ve determined that (putative) objects of a certain category are the best candidates to be bearers of intrinsic value. Does that provide a reason to think that there really are objects of that category? (Suppose you were on the fence about whether there really are propositions, but then become convinced that, if there are propositions, they are the things that bear intrinsic value. Do you now have a reason to believe in propositions?)

  23. My (7) and (8) have an icky reading, which is not intended. Clearer examples would have been:
    (7*): She believes that the sky is blue, which is a fact.
    (8*) She believes that the sky is red, which isn’t true.

  24. I think your (7*) sounds bad. I like (8*), but I think it’s about a proposition.
    The conversation among the letters was good. B’s second remark sounds to me like it means that she was aware that Jim said what he said; but just have A ask Were you aware of that? and it’s hard to deny that ‘that’ denotes whatever A just said.
    To the first question:
    I have a somewhat weird view about this. I think properties are the primary bearers of value. More precisely, I think they are the primary relata of the better than relation. I’m not sure I have ever convinced even a single philosopher that this is a reasonable view, though, so I don’t try very much anymore.
    To the second question:
    I do think that a good case for Xs being the bearers of value is eo ipso a case for there really being Xs — for being a realist about Xs, let’s say. Bearing weight in an explanatory scheme is earning your keep.

  25. FWIW:
    It seems clear to me that classes of propositions are non-spatial and non-temporal and bear truth values; while lives are spatial and temporal and do not bear truth values. There is, to be sure, a class of propositions which is *true of* a given life, but is not identical to that life; just as there is a class of propositions that is true of the sun, but is not identical to the sun. The sun is a big ball of flaming gas, not a class of propositions.
    Nor will ‘facts’ or ‘states of affairs’ help. There are facts *about* the sun, or which (if you like) *include* the sun, but the sun is not a fact. The sun is an object, a bearer of properties like mass and luminosity. Facts are not massive or luminous. Similarly, lives are seventy years long or take place in China; facts do not have these kinds of properties, though there are facts like “that life was seventy years long” and “that life took place in China.” It does not make sense to say “the fact of that life was seventy years long” or anything like that: what lasts seventy years is a life but not a fact.
    I also think that the main use of ‘good’ is attributive, as in “a good F” or “good for A-ing”, and that it is objects of a kind which are good or better than other objects of that kind. Thus the primary bearers of value are objects (in the logical sense, i.e. bearers of properties); goodness is one more property objects can have. Good states of affairs are a special case of this, but there are also good people, good lives, good actions, good Chinese food and tools good for changing your tires.
    I also think, but cannot now extensively argue, that if you think propositions or states of affairs are the primary bearers of value, you will automatically lean in the direction of consequentialism. Whereas if you think ‘good’ is an attributive rather than a predicative adjective, you will lean toward some kind of virtue theory. The point is that the metaphysics here are not ethically neutral.

  26. Kris,
    You put your finger on a point I was curious about when you said “I can envision some philosophers wanting to argue that some nonliving, nonconscious things can be harmed, and hence have welfare. (Maybe the environment is an example.)”
    I think it’s a nice feature of the view you are outlining that it does not exclude, say, ecosystems from having a life.
    I have another question. You said above that “lives are classes (or conjunctions) of propositions, and thus inherit intrinsic value from their elements.”
    What do you think about taking a top-down approach instead of a bottom-up approach? Instead, the elements inherit their value from the whole, worlds are basic bearers of value, and parts of the world inherit their value from the whole.
    Shaffer has a paper, “Monism”, where he defends the view that the whole is more basic than its parts. I think many considerations adduced in his paper make a difference on how to correctly answer your questions.

  27. Ok – here’s one last attempt. That the Evening Star is the Evening Star and that the Evening Star is the Morning Star are different propositions. One is trivial and the other is informative. However, we have found out that that the Evening Star is the Evening Star and that the Evening Star is the Morning Star are the very same facts or states of affairs of being self-identical.
    This difference would imply that we individuate propositions and facts/states of affairs differently – the former being intensional and the latter extensional. If we individuate propositions and facts/states of affairs so differently how is that they can be identical with one another, i.e., the very same things?

  28. Hi Jussi,
    Here are some thoughts about your most recent response. I doubt they will convince you, but I hope that they will at least make the view I like clearer.
    (1) What’s uncontentious is that we’ve discovered that the morning star is the evening star. We’ve discovered that two objects are identical. It might be question begging in this context to say something stronger, that we’e discovered the identity of two facts.
    (2) In any event, it’s not clear to me that the two propositions are distinct. Russellians might want to say that we have one proposition as well.
    (3) On the conception of facts as true propositions, it’s harmless to say that there are two facts here (if we think that there are two propositions)– as long as we can say (which we obviously can) that there is only one object, namely, the morning star/evening star.
    (4) On the conception of facts as truth-makers — things that *make* propositions true — there probably aren’t any facts of the kind you mention. There is no need to invoke a fact like to serve as a truth-maker for the claim that the morning star is the evening star, because the morning star/evening star itself gaurantees the truth of that proposition. (The dominant view about facts holds that there are no identity, existence, or disjunction facts, since they are always unneeded to serve as truthmakers for propositions.)
    (5) I don’t believe in entities that satisfy the conception of facts discussed in (4). (I said this in an earlier comment.) But I’m willing to play along, if others do believe in them. If these things do exist, then they are candidates for being bearers of value.
    The main question I keep pushing is: on what grounds do we determine that the bearers of value belong to category X as opposed to Y?
    Jamie: What’s your argument for holding that properties are the bearers of value? I’m curious to hear your reasons.

  29. Thanks Kris. I thougth it wouldn’t convince you : ) In the end it might be a conceptual disagreement of how we use these terms.
    To give my own view to your main question, I guess that I have to admit that I’ve gone into print to defend the so-called buck-passing account of value. This means that for me value is a higher-order, logical, ontologically lightweight property which an object (or a property) has as a result of having other ordinary properties which are reason-providing. So the question of the grounds for determining to what ontological category bearers of value belong to, for me, is a question of what kinds of things have properties that provide us with reasons to act and to have various attitudes.
    Most of these beings are ordinary objects like chocolate which taste gives me reason to eat it, but they can be abstract like the PEA SOUP blog which has features which give me reason to participate. So, I am pretty open-minded about the ontology of value-bearers as long as they have reason-providing properties. And, lives, at least many of them, certainly have features and properties that are reason-providing for seeking to live that kinds of lives. This isn’t of course to say much about the ontology of lives but I would go on with a pattern of states of affairs.

  30. What do you take properties to be? On one view, they’re sets of centered worlds, which are not so different from propositions.

    Those are fine. (Anyway, insofar as it’s useful to think of propositions as sets of worlds, it’s good to think of properties as sets of centered worlds.)

    Jamie: What’s your argument for holding that properties are the bearers of value? I’m curious to hear your reasons.

    Campbell’s comment hints at it. Better and worse properties are a clear way to make sense out of agent-centered value. For example, it is correct for me to judge that my keeping my promises is more important than your keeping yours, but also correct for you to judge that your keeping your promises is more important than my keeping mine. That (I say) is because the valuable thing is: keeping promises. And that’s a property. (Obviously that is an oversimplification of the virtue of fidelity, but it gives the structure of the idea of properties’ having value.)

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