A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

To begin analyzing the pro side of this issue we need to first define the word wilderness, and then define the word intrinsic.

A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

Supplement to Environmental Ethics Biodiversity Preservation The diversity of life on earth has long been thought to deserve attention, and respect. John Muir used a version of Christianity in his attempt to argue that species deserve our respect: Despite this, and similar remarks from other early writers, it was only in the s that sustainability came to the fore as a focus of environmental policy, and the concept of sustainable development is the topic of a later section.

In this section, we look at the notion of biodiversityone that was hardly a central concern of biologists or ecosystems theorists in the s Tilman Nonetheless, a significant number of books and papers by biologists and philosophers had sounded a warning about the loss of species, the possible impact of such losses on ecosystem functions and the reduction in value — both moral and economic — that was likely as a consequence of the reduction in natural variety Norton and ; Wilson The work of scientists and philosophers fed into the publication in of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity UN The preamble to the document refers explicitly both to the utility of nature, and also to its intrinsic value, echoing themes from both economics and philosophy.

A question that arises in discussions of how best to preserve the diversity of life concerns how biodiversity is to be measured.

A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

Debates over these questions go to the heart of contemporary discussions on biodiversity. A further question is whether the ethics of conservation has a specific focus on preservation of wilderness as such, or at least a focus on landscapes and populations that are natural.

In fact, high biodiversity, by some measures, can be associated with human use and occupation, as when adding a farming system to a desert raises local diversity. Hence, not all natural systems maximize biodiversity when left undisturbed see Brennan and Lo In some temperate forest systems, it is disturbance to the forest — including human land clearing activities — that provokes an increase in diversity in tree species Brennan On the other hand, many highly prized wild places are not particularly rich in natural variety Sarkar In some places, wilderness and biodiversity are indeed closely related, as in those set-aside wild areas that are also hot spots of biodiversity.

There is no doubt that management and preservation of natural variety is easier in the presence of low human population density Mittermeier et al. Nonetheless the protection of biodiversity is quite a different issue from the preservation of wilderness.

A persistent complication is that there continues to be no single agreed measure of biodiversity Maier For example, the concept of species itself is capable of being defined in a variety of different ways.

This is a complicating factor in any discussion about policies dealing with species numbers and diversity. The everyday understanding of the concept is the biological species concept, that for sexually reproducing plants and animals, a species is a population of organisms that closely resemble each other genetically and are capable of interbreeding so as to produce fertile offspring.

But there are other accounts. For example, according to certain genealogical or phylogenetic species concepts, two individuals are members of the same species if they both belong to the smallest group of individuals that share a common ancestor. A problem now arises: For example, one study claims that adopting the phylogenetic concept rather than one of the others would lead to large increases in the numbers of species to be found in various places.Does Wilderness Have Intrinsic Value?

essaysThe conservation of our environment has been a long standing debate between two extremes. On the one hand, some may argue for biodiversity, claiming that it has value for science amongst other things, on the other hand, there are those who may argue that.

Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, using fundamental analysis. Also called the true value, the intrinsic value may or may. Opposition to wilderness designation originates at least in part in a utilitarian paradigm, but utilitarian language and legal language are often incommensurate with that needed to express intrinsic values, as legal language is often couched in terms of rights, duties, and reciprocal obligations.

Wilderness does have intrinsic value, and the key to its success as well as our own, is preservation of these rich lands. There are endless reasons why society should choose to preserve these lands, yet some only see conservation as the answer.

Wilderness's ecological integrity-its biological and genetic diversity, the caliber of its natural resources-ranks high among the qualities of greatest interest to Americans, whether as the subject of scientific inquiry or as a fundamental intrinsic value of wilderness celebrated by society.

The Value of Wilderness William Godfrey-Smith* In this paper I explore various grounds on which wilderness can be regarded as unexperienced and unenjoyed, would certainly be ascribing to it an intrinsic value. The "cathedral" view with respect to wilderness in fact is a fairly recent.

Environmental Ethics > Biodiversity Preservation (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)