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Derivation of the Extrinsic Values of Biological Diversity from Its Intrinsic Value and of Both from the First Principles of Evolution

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Abstract

Conservation ethics have been based on 2 philosophical value systems: extrinsic value (defined broadly to include all values that derive from something external to the thing valued) and intrinsic value. Valuing biological diversity on the basis of an extrinsic value system is problematic because measurement is often difficult; extrinsic value changes as spatial or temporal scales change; extrinsic value differs on the basis of external factors; some species have trivial or negative extrinsic values; and extrinsic value varies across human cultures and societies and with such factors as socioeconomic conditions, individual experiences, and educational backgrounds. Valuing biological diversity on the basis of an intrinsic value system also poses challenges because intrinsic value can be seen as a disguised form of human extrinsic value; intrinsic value is initially ambiguous as to which objects or characteristics of biological diversity are to being valued; all aspects of biological diversity (e.g., species and ecosystems) are transitory; species and ecosystems are not static concrete entities; and intrinsic value of one species is often in conflict with the intrinsic value of other species. Extrinsic and intrinsic value systems share a common origin, such that extrinsic values are always derived from intrinsic value and life mutely expresses both intrinsic and extrinsic values—these are derived from and are products of biological evolution. Probing the values that underlie conservation helps the community clearly articulate its aims.

Derivación de los Valores Extrínsecos de la Biodiversidad a Partir de sus Valores Intrínsecos y de Ambos a Partir de los Primeros Principios de la Evolución
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Language: Spanish

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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