Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):123 – 147 (2006)
AbstractThe paper advances a Humean metaethical analysis of "intrinsic value" - a notion fundamental in moral philosophy in general and particularly so in environmental ethics. The analysis reduces an object's moral properties (e.g., its value) to the empirical relations between the object's natural properties and people's psychological dispositions to respond to them. Moral properties turn out to be both objective and subjective, but in ways compatible with, and complementary to, each other. Next, the paper investigates whether the Humean analysis can support non-anthropocentric environmental ethical theories, which attribute intrinsic value to nonhuman natural entities. It argues that one of the most useful resources from Hume for non-anthropocentrism is his account of justice as an artificial virtue, which is a plausible model for the internalization of various environmentally friendly conventions and the creation of environmental values. Finally, the paper concludes that any Humean account of intrinsic value is empiricist all the way down. Moral questions about what things are intrinsically valuable, and to what extent they are so, are ultimately empirical questions about complex psychological capacities and dispositions of human beings, which cannot be single-handedly answered by philosophers a priori; and that ethics is more appropriately seen as an interdisciplinary investigation, requiring collaboration among the various psychological and social sciences, human biological and neurological sciences, and history and philosophy.
Similar books and articles
Humean and anti-Humean internalism about moral judgements.Mark Van Roojen - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):26-49.
The source and locus of intrinsic value: A reexamination.Keekok Lee - 1996 - Environmental Ethics 18 (3):297-309.
Hume’s Projectivist Legacy for Environmental Ethics.Paul Haught - 2006 - Environmental Ethics 28 (1):77-96.
Objective Value in Environmental Ethics: Towards a Reconstituted Anthropocentric Ethic.Sharon Anderson-Gold - 2002 - Social Philosophy Today 18:111-124.
Hume's and Smith's Partial Sympathies and Impartial Stances.Jon Rick - 2007 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 5 (2):135-158.
Rationality and the Structure of the Self, Volume I: The Humean Conception.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2008 - APRA Foundation Berlin.
Humean perspectives on structural realism.Holger Lyre - 2009 - In F. Stadler (ed.), The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 381--397.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
In Search of Ecocentric Sentiments: Insights from the CAD Model in Moral Psychology.Antoine C. Dussault - 2013 - Environmental Ethics 35 (4):419-437.
Dependent relationships and the moral standing of nonhuman animals.Andrew I. Cohen - 2008 - Ethics and the Environment 13 (2):pp. 1-21.
Valor intrínseco y valor extrínseco en ética ambiental. Una alternativa antropocéntrica al instrumentalismo.Juan Pablo Hernandez - 2019 - Isegoría 61:641-654.
Valor intrínseco y valor extrínseco en ética ambiental. Una alternativa antropocéntrica al instrumentalismo.Juan Pablo Hernández Betancur - 2019 - Isegoría 61:641-654.
From respect for nature to agency as realisation in response to the ecological emergency.Lucy Weir - unknown