Share
Explore BrainMass

The Difference Between Intrinsic and Instrumental Values

What does it mean to say that something has value? It is a way of saying that it has worth. Something that is worthless has no value except perhaps in the negative. However, values differ according to the entities to which the values in question are attributed. For instance, the value of a pen is not the same as the value of a dog.
Values fall under two broad categories: intrinsic and instrumental. How does the values of the dog and the pen differ, for instance?

Solution Preview

What does it mean to say that something has value? It is a way of saying that it has worth. Something that is worthless has no value except perhaps in the negative. However, values differ according to the entities to which the values in question are attributed. For instance, the value of a pen is not the same as the value of a dog.
Values fall under two broad categories: intrinsic and instrumental. When something has intrinsic value, it means that its value is inherent in its being per se and does not depend on anything outside of itself; for instance the value of a human being is intrinsic. But when something is said to have an instrumental value, it means that its value is determined by the use to which it is put; for instance the value ...

Solution Summary

Do human beings have instrumental or intrinsic value? Does the environment and all natural entities have instrumental or intrinsic value? Are there are instances where the two types of value can overlap? This is what this post discusses.

$2.19