Intrinsic value is traditionally understood to be the value something has in virtue of its own nature, or its own intrinsic properties. Thus, whatever has intrinsic value has it “in itself,” “for its own sake,” or “in its own right.” This implies that intrinsic value is nonderivative and nonrelational, since things that have intrinsic value do not have it because of their relation to other things. For example, many writers argue that happiness is intrinsically valuable because happiness is good in itself and not because of its relation to something else. Other things sometimes said to be intrinsically valuable include pleasure, virtuous acts, knowledge, beauty, friendship, and love. Contrasted with intrinsic value is extrinsic value, which is the value a thing has in virtue of ...

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