Several environmental problems are currently seriously undermining the traditional belief that the moral community should be restricted to human beings only. Environmental ethics has taken up the challenge and opened an extremely urgent and inspiring call for philosophical research. This is the call for extending intrinsic value to non-human and non-paradigmatic entities, regarding them as moral patients. Still, the concept of intrinsic value poses different questions, and most arguments on environmental ethics still conflate these questions. I claim that providing separate answers to the different questions behind the concept of intrinsic value is a required step toward the rethinking of the way in which we should relate with nature, as well as the way in which we should handle matters of policy regulations concerning nature. Indeed, from a strictly philosophical standpoint, this is the only way to start rethinking the need to reserve to natural entities the same respect we owe to moral patients.
Keywords: Environmental ethics, intrinsic value, moral standing, moral patients, anthropocentrism.