Second-order Shift

Second-order Shift: A move from first-order value-system (e.g., to maximize pecuniary possessions or equivalents) to a second order level of value understanding and choice within which the first-order value-system is one regulating possibility. This is a logic of distinction which is straightforward in non-normative matters (e.g., the first-order of red and blue, and the second order of color), but not at the normative level wherever a ruling value program is assumed as without alternative.

See also Ruling value syntax.

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.