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Intrinsic Value

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I don't see how anyone who claims the good "just is" can have bridged the is-ought gap. I can see how they can claim to have done so, if we believe their assertions about what is good and what is not. However, the moment they try to justify why something is good, they're stuck. So, in effect, they're saying: "If you accept certain things as simply being good, without reason, then you can bridge the is-ought gap". However, if we're going to accept something without reason, then why are we bothering to bridge gaps in the first place?

It takes a universal to bridge the is-ought gap, but metaphysical universals are assumed by intrinsicists whereas Objectivism uses epistemological universals, relational universals.

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There are some arguments for it.
No there aren't.
Sure it is. See Tara Smith. The choice is based on psychological factors. You can point to facts that will incline a person to choose to live but the choice is not rationally arguable.
In addition, you misunderstand Smith's argument and the concept of the arbitrary.

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If your stating that things have an intrinsic value, then the so called 'units of value' that a thing contains must nessicarily be cardinal. In others words you should be able to quantify how many units of value, for example, an apple has. The units of value an apple possess can not be ordinal, and based on comparison otherwise its right back to relativity. Intrinicism granted, I should be able to say this apple has 6.3 units of value all on its own. But what is 6.3 units of value? What is the catalyst used here to determine what is a proper unit of measurement of value? Are all things quantifiable in the same value units? What is the procedure for measuring a given things value? Moreover, can this procedure be reproduced in labs with the same results? Does an apple that is fresh have more units of value than a rotten apple? And if value is not relative to a valuer, does a mudpie have intrinsic value?

You believe in intrinsic value? Show me where and how you've derived that concept. Obviously, you believe most of the posters are guilty of presupposing an Objectivist definition of value, so please elighten us as to what your definition of value is. Also I'm positive you'll make sure to demonstrate that your definition of value has no presuppositions either, correct?

Edited by LogicsSon

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The thread creator does not actually believe in intrinsic value, they're just playing devil's advocate in order to try to get the case against intrinsic value clear enough in their mind for effective use against some people who actually themselves believe in and are trying to argue for intrinsic value.

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The thread creator does not actually believe in intrinsic value, they're just playing devil's advocate in order to try to get the case against intrinsic value clear enough in their mind for effective use against some people who actually themselves believe in and are trying to argue for intrinsic value.

I'm pretty sure that is the case... thread creator..are we correct?

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No there aren't.

I have argued with intrinsicists. They have arguments.

Not good arguments, granted.

In addition, you misunderstand Smith's argument and the concept of the arbitrary.

Okay, the choice is pre-rational.

Edited by ctrl y

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This also seems to start from the Objectivist conception of value. But an intrinsicist does not accept the Objectivist conception of value.

Who cares what an intrinsicist thinks. The Objectivist conception of value is the right one. :P

What kinds of things do the intrinsicists believe have intrinsic value? And what are their reasons for thinking it has intrinsic value?

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I'd like to ask for the member's opinions or more accurately critiques of this attached paper that discusses the framework for organic agriculture. Particularly the section on the integrity approach.

 

 

80.pdf

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I wonder if one's life might qualify as something which has intrinsic value.

According to Rand, life is one's standard of value. Man faces a constant alternative of life or death, it is only if the alternative of life is opted for that values have meaning as a guide to action.

At the point of opting for life, this cannot be an evaluative process because at this point there is no standard of value by which to evaluate it.

For those who opted to live at that point, it seems that their life/flourishing must have had intrinsic value.

Edited by Jon Southall

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I wonder if one's life might qualify as something which has intrinsic value.

According to Rand, life is one's standard of value. Man faces a constant alternative of life or death, it is only if the alternative of life is opted for that values have meaning as a guide to action.

At the point of opting for life, this cannot be an evaluative process because at this point there is no standard of value by which to evaluate it.

For those who opted to live at that point, it seems that their life/flourishing must have had intrinsic value.

 

In other words, life is a value apart from you or anyone else valuing it?  How is that possible?  What do you think a value is?

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@ Craig24

The answer to the first two questions can be found in my post. It requires reflection. In terms of your final question, I'd recommend you read VOS. Rand clearly explains what value is there, and I agree with her explanation.

To help others reading this, I would point out that we all agree with extrinsic value; we also know we evaluate something against some standard. Where life is the standard (of value), we can evaluate something according to what extent it contributes to whatever is in our rational self-interest. An apple contributes towards my sustenance and wellbeing, which, given that I want to live, makes it good. Suffering fools on a forum means I sacrifice my time to a lesser value rather than spending it on a higher value, which makes it a bad thing to do.

What happens though at the stage when we are first confronted with the alternative of life or death? We do not have a standard of value to measure either option against at this stage, because it will be the option we go for that determines whether we need a standard of value or not. Rationally speaking there is no basis for a preference of one alternative over another. If we automatically lean towards choosing life as our standard without any reasoning, why is this? Is it because a man's life has intrinsic value, without his having to evaluate it? If not, what other explanation surpasses mine?

Edited by Jon Southall

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anyone want to have a stab at the article i uploaded

What does the "integrity" idea mean? Does it mean poison ivy has rights too? I don't see any "why"... why should humans have right, leave along animals or oranges.

Edited by softwareNerd

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well my question is: how does the integrity approach demonstrate the presence of intrinsic value?

 

It seems to talk about some intrinsic attributes/qualities but how would you demonstrate a value from such existent attributes?

 

"The intrinsic value of plants is a reflection of their integrity at different levels" pg 92.

Edited by Mikee

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The integrity approach is not well defined within the article. The authors point to a couple of seemingly relevant articles, which I assume will set it out with more clarity. If you can make this available it would be helpful.

Lammerts Van Bueren, E.T., P.C. Struik, M. Tiemens-Hulscher & E. Jacobsen, 2003. Concepts of intrinsic value and integrity of plants in organic plant breeding and propagation. Crop Science 43: 1922–1929.

Verhoog, H, M. Matze, E. Lammerts Van Bueren & T. Baars, 2003. The role of the concept of the natural (naturalness) in organic farming. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16: 29–49.

Can I ask why you are asking for critiques? What are you hoping to use them for?

Edited by Jon Southall

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I just want to improve my understanding of the concept better.

 

"anti-concept"... and I suggest you attempt not to understand what it "means" or what is "meant" as it will suffice only to understand what it wrong.... and why it is an anti-concept.

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You asked before "how does the integrity approach demonstrate the presence of intrinsic value?"

 

I believe you may have this back-to-front. It looks to me as if the authors are relying on acceptance of intrinsic value as ethical justification for recognising and restricting how we interfere with plant 'integrity'.

 

If we accept that plants have value in and of themselves, that they are ethically relevant then we would need to adapt our decision making. It would imply we have an ethical responsibility to restrict how we act, in relation to plants. What actions matter however? This is where the concept of integrity comes into it. The concept of integrity sets out what characteristics of plants are essential to their nature and their intrinsic value. Setting this out leads to more specific restrictions in relation to plants, i.e. prohibiting genetic modification in organic agriculture.

 

For what reason should we accept the concept of intrinsic value upon which everything else they argue rests? If we have no reason to then the authors case is baseless.

 

The authors don't give us much of substance in answer. The biocentric position merely accepts as given, unquestionably that plants do have intrinsic value. We need to take care as arbitrary assertions do not make good foundations to live by. The authors also suggest it is closely tied to perceptions of the ethical relevance of plants, which stems from peoples attitudes towards nature. Opinions are no substitute for sound reasoning based on reality. Why should we accept one perspective or another?

 

The question remains to be answered - plants have value to whom, and for what purpose? Intrinsic value proponents say plants have value regardless of whom to and regardless of purpose for. But then they provide reasons why proponents of different perspectives think we should accept intrinsic value perspectives; in the guise of man as steward, of biodiversity benefits and benefits to our descendants. When they do this I can't help but feel a sense they are then really talking of plants as having instrumental value, but longer term rather than what will end up accompanying our roast dinners next year. The issue really seems to be that one minority values the naturalness of plants more highly than another, and are trying to come up with ethical reasons to trump different evaluations by other individuals or groups of them.

 

I'd prefer it if they spent their time setting out clearly their justification for their evaluation of the instrumental value of plants to be so high (as that is what, in fact, I think they are really talking about). If this was persuasive then any reasonable man would accept it and regulate their behaviour voluntarily. Relying on a concept of intrinsic value is a cop-out - a bit like early enlightenment philosophers, who once stuck upon a line of faulty reasoning, used God to tie it up.

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If reason does not apply to the choice to live then Objectivism is moral subjectivism. We know all about values and right and wrong- given this one blind whim that everything else stands on.

For the choice to live to be a-rational means that there is no good reason to live at all.

That doesn't seem quite right.

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