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The Life-Ground of Value: A concept introduced by McMurtry (1998) which signifies the totality of conditions, natural and/or social, upon which any living thing or collection of living things depends for its existence.
The Life-Ground: the conditions of all life and substantive value.
Most simply expressed, all the conditions required to take your next breath. Axiologically understood, all the life support systems required for human life to reproduce or develop. The life-ground is to be distinguished from the concept of “the life-world” which refers to background beliefs.
The universal basis of all value, the maximal development of the capabilities of living things relative to their degree of organic and social complexity.
The totality of conditions presupposed by the life of individual living things; the basis of there being value and beings that can value.
While religions have featured the animating breath of life, they have attributed it to a transcendental creator so as to overlook its source in the creation itself–a kind of idolatry of man-made ideas.
Source: ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I-III, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11.