Environmental values that include aspects of both intrinsic and instrumental valuing

October 14, 2020

Anna Deplazes Zemp

NOMIS researcher Anna Deplazes-Zemp and colleague Mollie Chapman have published a paper in Environmental Values (The White Horse Press) exploring the concept of “relational value” with respect to environmental ethics and empirical analyses.


In this paper we suggest an interpretation of the concept of “relational value” that could be useful in both environmental ethics and empirical analyses. We argue that relational valuing includes aspects of intrinsic and instrumental valuing. If relational values are attributed, objects are appreciated because the relationship with them contributes to the human flourishing component of well-being (instrumental aspect). At the same time, attributing relational value involves genuine esteem for the valued item (intrinsic aspect). We also introduce the notions of mediating and indirect relational environmental values, attributed in relationships involving people as well as environmental objects. We close by proposing how our analysis can be used in empirical research.

Read the Environmental Values publication: The ABCs of Relational Values: Environmental Values That Include Aspects of Both Intrinsic and Instrumental Valuing