Julia TannerCorresponding author

Intrinsic Value and the Argument from Regress

12/2 - Fall 2007, pages 313-322
Date of online publication: 15 November 2007
Date of publication: 01 November 2007


Proponents of the argument from regress maintain that the existence of Instrumental Value is sufficient to establish the existence of Intrinsic Value. It is argued that the chain of instrumentally valuable things has to end somewhere. Namely with intrinsic value. In this paper, I shall argue something a little more modest than this. I do not want to argue that the regress argument proves that there is intrinsic value but rather that it proves that the idea of intrinsic value is a necessary part of our thinking about moral value.


Cite this article

Tanner, Julia. “Intrinsic Value and the Argument from Regress.” Forum Philosophicum 12, no. 2 (2007): 313–22. doi:10.35765/forphil.2007.1202.23.


Attfield, Robin. The Ethics of Environmental Concern. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983.

Bernstein, Mark. “Intrinsic Value.” Philosophical Studies 102 (2001): 329–343.

Kagan, Shelly. “Rethinking Intrinsic Value.” The Journal of Ethics 2 (1998): 277–297. doi:10.1023/A:1009782403793.

Moore, George Edward. Principia Ethica. Edited by Thomas Baldwin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Nozick, Robert. Philosophical Explanations. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.

Smith, Tara. “Intrinsic Value: Look-Say Ethics.” The Journal of Value Inquiry. 32, no. 4 (1998): 539–553. doi:10.1023/A:1004333128077.

Weston, Anthony. “Between Means and Ends.” The Monist 75, no. 2 (1992): 236–249. doi:10.5840/monist199275217.