Introduction to Part Two
Part Two of this book aims to ground the new narrative of consciousness and governance within key fields of action. The contributors have thus explored some general principles through the lens of an innovative conception of corporation, ecology, global health, communal life, peace and then through the laws that govern our relationship with our planet’s eco-system.
The first clarification that these chapters make, which is also at the heart of our contemporary debates, is about our conception of value. The authors in Part Two pose this question: ‘What is fundamentally valuable?’, and set out to address a connected question: ‘What value does a system of governance aim to serve?’ It is here where an important distinction is drawn between instrumental value and non-instrumental or intrinsic value. According to our contributors, what is instrumentally valuable only has value in terms of what it leads to, prevents or facilitates. In other words, what makes something instrumentally valuable is that it serves as a means to some other end(s). By contrast, what is non-instrumentally value does not have value outside of itself. That is why it is intrinsically valuable. Some things can have both kinds of value, such as human health, and the planetary eco-system. This distinction may appear to be simple at first glance. However, as our authors illustrate, our society and governance tend to be situated within a false assumption of the relationships between instrumental and intrinsic values and the means and ends and...
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