Intrinsic value is an ethical and philosophic property. It is the ethical or philosophic value that an object has "in itself" or "for its own sake", as an intrinsic property. An object with intrinsic value may be regarded as an end or end-in-itself.
It is contrasted with instrumental value (or extrinsic value), the value of which depends on how much it generates intrinsic value. For an eudaemonist, happiness has intrinsic value, while having a family may not have intrinsic value, yet be instrumental, since it generates happiness. Intrinsic value is a term employed in axiology, the study of quality or value.
Other names for intrinsic value are terminal value, essential value, principle value or ultimate importance.
Intrinsic value is mainly used in ethics, but the concept is also used in philosophy, with terms that essentially may refer to the same concept.
"Something is of intrinsic value if it is good or desirable in itself; the contrast is with instrumental value, that is value as a means to some other end or purpose." 
End is roughly similar, and often used as a synonym, for the following concepts:
Intrinsic value is strongly linked to the purpose in life, since the purpose is generally to increase the intrinsic value.
This is a table which attempts to summarize the main intrinsic value of different life stances and other views, although there may be great diversity within them:
and other views
|Main intrinsic value|
|Utilitarianism||utility (although this is often synonymous with pleasure or happiness)|
|Rational Deontologism||virtue or duty|
|Rational Eudæmonism, or tempered Deontologism||both virtue and happiness combined|
|Emptiness||nothing possesses essential, enduring identity|
Among followers of aliquidistic lifestances regarding more than one thing as having intrinsic value, these may be regarded as equally instrinsically valuable or unequally so. However, in practics, they may in any case be unequally valued because of their instrumental values resulting in unequal whole values.
This view may hold the instrinsic values of several life stances as intrinsically valuable. Note the difference between this and regarding several intrinsic values as more or less instrumentally valuable, since intrinsic monistic views also may hold other intrinsic values than their own chosen one as valuable, but then only to the degree other intrinsic values contribute indirectly to their own chosen intrinsic value.
The most simple form of intrinsic multism is intrinsic bi-ism (from Latin two), which holds two objects as having intrinsic value.
Multism may not necessarily include the feature of intrinsic values to have a negative side, e.g. the feature of utilitarism to accept both pain as well as pleasure to be of intrinsic value, since they may be viewed as different sides of the same coin.
Ietsism (Dutch “ietsisme” - "Somethingism") is a Dutch language term for a range of beliefs held by people who, on the one hand, inwardly suspect - or indeed believe - that there is “More between Heaven and Earth” than we know about, but on the other hand do not accept or subscribe to the established belief system, dogma or view of the nature of God offered by any particular religion.
In this sense, it may roughly be regarded as aliquidism, without further specification. For instance, most lifestances include the acceptance of "there is something, some meaning of life, something that is an end-in-itself or something more to existence, and it is...", assuming various objects or "truths", while ietsism, on the other hand simply accepts "there is something", without further assumption to it.
In the case where concrete objects are accepted as ends, they may be either single particulars or generalized to all particulars of one or more universals. However, the majority of life stances choose all particulars of universals as ends. For instance, Humanism doesn't assume individual humans as ends but rather all humans of humanity.
When generalizing multiple particulars of a single universal it may not be certain whether the end is actually the individual particulars or the rather abstract universal. In such cases, a life stance may rather be a continuum between having a concrete and abstract end.
This may render life stances of being both intrinsic multistic and intrinsic monistic at the same time. Such a quantity contradiction, however, may be of only minor practic significance, since splitting an end into many ends decreases the whole value but increases the value intensity.
There may be a distinction between absolute and relative ethic value regarding intrinsic value.
Relative intrinsic value is subjective, depending on individual and cultural views and/or the individual choice of life stance. Absolute intrinsic value, on the other hand, is philosophically absolute and independent of individual and cultural views, as well as independent on whether it discovered or not what object has it.
There is an ongoing discussion whether absolute intrinsic value exists at all, for instance in pragmatism.
In pragmatism, John Deweys empirical approach did not accept intrinsic value as an inherent or enduring property of things. He saw it as an illusory product of our continuous ethic valuing activity as purposive beings. When held across only some contexts, Dewey held that goods are only intrinsic relative to a situation. In other words, he only believed in relative intrinsic value, but not any absolute intrinsic value.
He held that across all contexts, goodness is best understood as instrumental value, with no contrasting intrinsic goodness. In other words, Dewey claimed that anything can only be of intrinsic value if it is a contributory good.
There may be both positive and negative value regarding intrinsic value. An object with positive intrinsic value may be termed a positive end or a posend. On the other hand, an object with negative intrinsic value may be termed a negative end or a negend
A posend is something that for itself is purposed to be pursued or maximized, while a negend, on the other hand, is something that intrinsically is best to avoid or minimize.