Refocusing environmental ethics: From intrinsic value to endorsable valuations

Philosophy and Geography 5 (2):153 – 164 (2002)
Abstract
Establishing that nature has intrinsic value has been the primary goal of environmental philosophers. This goal has generated tremendous confusion. Part of the confusion stems from a conflation of two quite distinct concerns. The first concern is with establishing the moral considerability of the natural world which is captured by what I call "intrinsic value p ." The second concern attempts to address a perceived problem with the way nature has traditionally been valued, or as many environmentalists would suggest, undervalued, what I call "intrinsic value v ." In this paper I argue against further development of both types of theories of the intrinsic value of nature. There are, I believe, intermediate valuations that have been almost entirely overlooked in discussions of value. Much of the confusion currently plaguing environmental ethics can be avoided by abandoning intrinsic value and refocusing environmental ethics.
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