Ratio 30 (2):165-180 (2017)

Authors
Zach Weber
University of Otago
Abstract
Even if you were the last person on Earth, you should not cut down all the trees—or so goes the Last Man thought experiment, which has been taken to show that nature has intrinsic value. But ‘Last Man’ is caught on a dilemma. If Last Man is too far inside the anthropocentric circle, so to speak, his actions cannot be indicative of intrinsic value. If Last Man is cast too far outside the anthropocentric circle, though, then value terms lose their cogency. The experiment must satisfy conditions in a seemingly impossible ‘goldilocks’ zone. To this end I propose a new version, the Ultramodal Last Man, which appeals to Routley's work in metaphysics and non-classical logic. With this ‘Last Last Man’, I argue that the Local/Global dilemma is resolved: impossible equations balance in ultramodal space. For defenders and critics alike, this helps to clarify the demands of intrinsic value, and renews a role for non-standard logics in value theory.
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DOI 10.1111/rati.12133
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