Where value resides: Making ecological value possible

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Distinguishing between the source and the locus of value enables environmental philosophers to consider not only what is of value, but also to try to develop a conception of valuation that is itself ecological. Such a conception must address difficulties caused by the original locational metaphors in which the distinction is framed. This is done by reassessing two frequently employed models of valuation, perception, and desire, and going on to show that a more adequate ecological understanding of valuation emerges when these models are fully contextualized in the intersecting life worlds of the ecological community. Ecological evaluation takes place in ongoing encounters between these worlds and a crucial part in this process is assigned to living beings that are “open-endedly open,” that is, open only to what the world affords them and others, but open to an indefinite field of possible valuational encounters between all kinds of beings. Ecological valuation overcomes some of the conceptual failings of contemporary attempts to evaluate nature: “The Economics of Ecology and Biodiversity” and “Valuing Nature.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-340
JournalEnvironmental Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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