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A Counterfactual Argument for Environmentalists to Endorse Non-Instrumental Value in Nature
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6310-151x
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4637-6903
2021 (English)In: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series / [ed] Gregory T. Papanikos, Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2021, p. 1-15, article id PHI2021-2726Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Environmentalists care about nature. Often, they reason and act as if they consider nature to be valuable for its own sake, i.e., to have non-instrumental value. Yet, there is a rather widespread reluctance, even among environmentalists, to explicitly ascribe such value to nature. One important explanation of this is probably the thought that it would be mysterious in one way or another if nature possessed such value. In addition, Bryan Norton’s influential convergence hypothesis states that, from a practical point of view, it makes no or little difference whether we ascribe non-instrumental value to nature, given the depth and variety of instrumental value that it possesses. In this paper we provide a counterfactual argument, applying to anyone who genuinely cares about nature, for endorsing non-instrumental value in it. Even if we accept, for the sake of argument, something like the convergence hypothesis, relying on nature’s instrumental value for preservational purposes is risky business for environmentalists. We also briefly consider the mysteriousness-objection to non-instrumental value in nature. We show that with respect to most accounts of non-instrumental value, there is nothing particularly mysterious about nature possessing such value.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aten: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), 2021. p. 1-15, article id PHI2021-2726
Series
ATINER'S Conference Paper Series, ISSN 2241-2891 ; 2726
Keywords [en]
environmental ethics, intrinsic value in nature, non-instrumental value in nature, non-anthropocentrism, convergence hypothesis, anthropocentrism, intrinsic value, non-instrumental value
National Category
Philosophy Ethics
Research subject
Ethics; Practical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-186896OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-186896DiVA, id: diva2:1587844
Conference
16th Annual International Conference on Philosophy, Ahtens, Greece, May 24-27, 2021
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-01535Available from: 2021-08-25 Created: 2021-08-25 Last updated: 2021-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Samuelsson, LarsLindström, Niclas

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf