IUCN / SSC Cat Specialist Group - Digital Cat Library


View printer friendly
Attfield, R.
Existence value and intrinsic value
1998  Ecological Economics (24): 163-168

In this paper, the concept of existence value is related to the notion of intrinsic value current in environmental ethics, the methods employed to measure existence-value are discussed, and thus the question is investigated as to whether these methods are a satisfactory means of taking non-use value into account in practical decision-making. In particular I argue, against Jonathan Aldred, that not all bearers of intrinsic value satisfy his definition of existence value: plausible counter-examples include undiscovered and future bearers of such value (Section 2). I also raise difficulties for the two proposed measures of existence-value; willingness-to-pay and willingness-to-accept (Section 3). Finally, I conclude, in Section 4 that to base decision-making on the valuations of valuers in a free market fails to give value its due. A method is instead needed which, unlike those associated with existence value, more directly takes into account and weighs up the good or the interests of future human beings and of nonhuman entities.

PDF files are only accessible to Friends of the Cat Group. Joining Friends of the Cat Group gives you unlimited access and downloads in the Cat SG Library for one year, and allows you to receive our newsletter Cat News (2 regular issues per year plus special issues). More information how to join here


(c) IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group ( IUCN - The World Conservation Union)