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Locating value in nature

Cooper, Mark (2016) Locating value in nature. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The four purposes of this research project are: [1] to examine various approaches that have been taken to the concept of value in environmental ethics; [2] to show how many of these approaches have elements in common which can be understood as different expressions of the idea that nature possesses order and directionality; [3] to suggest an explanation as to why these qualities of order and directionality are often afforded value by people; and [4] to show how scientific concepts taken from systems theory and ecology can be used to justify the idea that the order and directionality of natural systems should be valued by people. My contention is that value, in the ethical sense, can be located in living systems’ tendency to create a particular kind of order and directionality in themselves and their environment. This order is not a rigid kind of order, but a kind of order that allows for adaptation and flexibility – a kind of order that is sometimes described using the word negentropy.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Supervisor(s): Schwenkenbecher, Anne
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