Volume 4, Issue 2, Summer 1982
Environmental Ethics and Contemporary Ethical Theory
Value as Richness
Toward a Value Theory for the Expanded Naturalism in Environmental Ethics
There is a widespread conviction amongst nature lovers, environmental activists, and many writers on environmental ethics that the value of the natural world is not restricted to its utility to humankind, but contains an independent intrinsic worth as weIl. Most contemporary value theories, however, are psychologically based and thus ill-suited to characterize such natural intrinsic value. The theory of “value as
richness” presented in this paper attempts to articulate a plausible nonpsychological theory of value that accomodates environmentalist convictions as weIl as more traditional value concems. It has implications not only for our care for and preservation of nature, but also for the enrichment of human lives.