A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

To begin analyzing the pro side of this issue we need to first define the word wilderness, and then define the word intrinsic. Authors, philosophers, and preservationists have long struggled to define wilderness. For some, it is a concept, a state of mind, or an opportunity.

A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

The Wilderness Experience as Intrinsically Valuable. Ernest Partridge Quite frankly, I have no clear recollection of when I wrote this unpublished and unsubmitted paper.

Wilderness can be defended in terms of the intrinsic value of the experience that is gained through encountering it. This paper presents an account of the immediate phenomenological qualities of the wilderness experience and the judgmental insights and personal commitments derived therefrom.

The list of benefits resulting from "wise use" of the wilderness is long, well articulated, and, by now, quite familiar. However, many preservationists suggest that it is as rude and unworthy to ask of the wilderness: What can I get from it?

They prefer the response of Thoreau: Indeed, justification may be misapplied and pointless, since intrinsic value might not be arguable by an appeal to other values. To offer normative support of a value is to presume that the value is derivative; that is, not intrinsic.

While an intrinsic value can be examined and recognized, it is not likely to be found as the conclusion of an argument It is, in this sense, in the nature more of a datum like pain or yellow than of an assertion -- something one has, rather than something that one derives.

It should be an account detached, as much as possible, from second-hand reports of the experience, and based, as much as possible, upon the recollection of feelings evoked directly by that experience. To do this, I will call upon the nearest and most vivid source at my disposal: I will attempt, at the outset at least, to relate this experience with the least possible amount of preconception or post-analysis.

In other words, my approach will be phenomenological.

Following this exercise, I will then remove the phenomenological "brackets" and attempt to account for and qualify this experience. This is, of course, a thought- experiment that you might wish to try yourselves.

I heartily recommend it. As I reflect back upon my experience of wilderness, I seem to recall these features: Not that the wilderness is either friendly or hostile to me, but that it can well accommodate my simple needs and suffer my undemanding presence within it.

Initiativeblog.com - Benefits of Wilderness

With this feeling, as with the previous aI gain a sense of humility without humiliation. Natural processes are thus felt to be part of a timeless pattern -- a permanence of changes2.

There is a feeling that the wilderness exhibits the primeval conditions of my being -- conditions that preceded my race, and which will survive whatever brief desecrations that my race may put upon it. Of course, I am describing here a response that is discursive and not phenomenological.

I would defend its inclusion here by suggesting that there is a feeling tone evoked by the wilderness experience that constantly generates this reflection. I am in dynamic interaction with my environment, and I feel "at one" with it. The terms "detachment," "abstraction," "isolation," and "completeness" which aestheticians are apt to use to describe the experience of art objects -- these terms seem not to apply to the wilderness experience.

Intrinsic Value in Wilderness? | The Institute for Applied & Professional Ethics

Rather, as Ronald Hepburn observes, in nature one is "both actor and spectator, ingredient in the landscape and lingering upon the sensation of being thus ingredient, playing actively with nature and letting nature as it were play with him and his awareness of himself. For example hearing an airplane engine or seeing a contrail while in a desert canyon, or hearing a transistor radio or trail-bike while in the forest.

There is a feeling that wilderness, and the experience thereof, is worthwhile and good. It would seem quite correct here to describe this feeling as a love of the wilderness environment. Missing from this response is the feeling of instrumentality.

A study of the intrinsic value of wilderness

It would appear that we have succeeded in identifying "the intrinsic worth of nature" as a component of the experience of nature -- at least to this observer.

Unfortunately, it is not at all that simple, for while the feeling of intrinsic worth might be a datum of the experience of nature, we might still be called upon to determine whether this "feeling of intrinsic worth," is in fact worth having.

We will return to this question at the close of this paper. Let it suffice here to note that while the feeling of the intrinsic worth of nature might indeed be a component of the experience of nature, the question of what we are to make of this feeling is an additional problem -- and a vitally important one at that.

To this problem, we now turn. In reviewing this list, I find the following noteworthy characteristics of the experience: And so we encounter in item a personal finitude and diminution without dread; or b an indifference of nature, yet with a belonging to it; or c a sense of timelessness in the midst of process; or f serenity in the presence of vastness.The "intrinsic value" of wilderness is that beyond any human evaluation or connection-wilderness for wilderness's sake.

There's no place on Earth entirely free of human impact, but in wilderness areas anthropogenic activities aren't the dominating forces.

wilderness, resonates most clearly and painfully in the specific example of the Yaak Valley. The Yaak rests up against the Idaho and British Columbia borders.

It is a pipeline, a thin straw, drawing genetic Does Wilderness Have Intrinsic Value? Wilderness's ecological integrity-its biological and genetic diversity, the caliber of its natural resources-ranks high among the qualities of greatest interest to Americans, whether as the subject of scientific inquiry or as a fundamental intrinsic value of wilderness celebrated by society.

Abstract: Wilderness can be defended in terms of the intrinsic value of the experience that is gained through encountering it. This paper presents an account of the immediate phenomenological qualities of the wilderness experience and the judgmental insights and personal commitments derived therefrom.

~ The Multiple Values of Wilderness This chapter describes, in noneconomic terms, research evidence of the benĀ­ efits that define the social values of federally designated Wilderness. allows American government to protect undeveloped land from development as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System; only % of U.S.

land is protected wilderness area (only % of the lower 48 states is protected wilderness area).

Environmental Ethics > Biodiversity Preservation (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)