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Intrinsic value vs. Instrumental Value

Philosophy Question: Is wisdom (philosophy) something you value most, which you consider most vital to living a good life?

Is wisdom something mostly intrinsically valuable and so desired solely for its own sake? Or is wisdom also instrumentally valuable and so desired also for the sake of something else you desire/want? If so, what?

Instrumental Value

You value most things instrumentally, that is, as a means to some end. Usually, this is obvious and trivial. For instance, you value a washing machine that works—purely for its useful function, or instrumental value.

Intrinsic Value

There are two notions of intrinsic value. It can be:

  • Valuable in itself
  • Valued by someone for its own sake

If something has intrinsic value in the first sense, this means that the universe is somehow a better place for that thing existing or occurring.

Reference

Intrinsic vs. Instrumental Value A Basic Distinction in Moral Philosophy

 

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