The Intrinsic and Instrumental Values of Diversity: Some Philosophical and Legal Considerations

Sienho Yee & Jacques-Yvan Morin (eds.), Multiculturalism and International Law: Essays in Honour of Edward McWhinney (2009), 207-226

Posted: 20 Apr 2012

See all articles by Sienho Yee

Sienho Yee

School of Economics and Management - Wuhan University

Date Written: April 20, 2009

Abstract

In this paper I shall try to highlight two basic values — intrinsic and instrumental values — that exist in the world and illustrate, in a more or less impressionistic way, how these values may manifest themselves in matters relating to diversity and how conflicts in general and conflicts specifically relating to diversity can be seen as conflicts of these values. This is a tentative attempt, meant to bring out into the open some implicit ways of or framework for seeing and rationalizing the world, and to generalize the issues to a certain level so as to order our examination, analysis and rationalization in a better way. In so doing, I hope to help deepen our understanding of diversity, improve the quality of relevant decision-making, and ultimately promote it in however small a way. My analysis shows that Society has taken cognition of the intrinsic and instrumental values of diversity. In conflicts of values relating to diversity, society often has put diversity on the pedestal. Yet it is not always conscious of whether it is the intrinsic value or instrumental value of diversity that it is championing. Clearer and better analyses that tackle such conflicts in a more direct way seem to be in demand. Such clearer and more direct analyses will help to concentrate the mind so as to allow conscious and perhaps tough decision-making. Diversity as a pure intrinsic value and its effects from such a status appear to be a territory awaiting exploration and development. Such further work will inform society’s efforts to prioritize the more important value over others. This will improve the quality of the exercise of decision-making power and, of course, the ultimate result of that exercise.

Suggested Citation

Yee, Sienho, The Intrinsic and Instrumental Values of Diversity: Some Philosophical and Legal Considerations (April 20, 2009). Sienho Yee & Jacques-Yvan Morin (eds.), Multiculturalism and International Law: Essays in Honour of Edward McWhinney (2009), 207-226, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2043038

Sienho Yee (Contact Author)

School of Economics and Management - Wuhan University ( email )

Wuhan
China

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