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I wish I understood what you're on about with "the metaphysics of value"

A Metaphysics of Quality is just another perspective of a

Metaphysics of Quality

You will see there, still on the front page, an old paper of mine "If not Global Capitalism, then What" from which this is an extract...

The Metaphysics Of Value

Robert Pirsig, in his books "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and "Lila" sets out a case that Western civilisation has long been under the thrall of an artificial division between "Subject" and "Object".

He proposed that the primary reality is "Quality" which is both formless and indefinable. It is not a "thing" but an event at which the subject becomes aware of the object and before he distinguishes it: ie a non-intellectual awareness or "pre-intellectual reality".

Quality is the basis of both Subject and Object. The bad "Quality sensation" one gets from sitting on a hot stove leads to a consciousness both of oneself - the Subject - and the stove - the Object. Pirsig went on to distinguish between "Static" and "Dynamic" Quality, where the static order of one level forms the precondition for the establishment of a "higher" level.

The perspective I offer upon a new form of Economics more nearly related to Reality (based upon empirical observation) is based upon treating Value as a form of "Quality" as envisioned by Pirsig.

Another perspective upon Value is that of the writer E C Riegel - who in his posthumously published book on monetary matters "Flight from Inflation" - defined "Value" as " the Relativity of Desire" again implying indeterminacy. Taking Pirsig's approach Capital may be viewed as "Static" Value and Money as "Dynamic" Value.

"Transactions" are the "events" at which individuals (Subjects) interact with each other or with Capital (both as Objects) to create forms of Value and at which "Value judgments" are made based upon a "Value Unit".

The result of these Value Events or Transactions is to create Subject/Object pairings in the form of data ie Who "owns" or has rights of use in What, and - by reference to some form of Value Unit - at what Price.

This data we recognise as accounting data.
Note at this point that modern "Neo-Classical" Economics confuses indeterminate Value with a market- determined Price - a confusion best summarised by Oscar Wilde's definition of a Cynic as "someone who knows the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing".

Data may be static such as the written word, or magnetic polarities on computer discs; or dynamic, such as the packets of energy passing between databases and defined under the "Internet Protocol".

This Data identifies the subject with objects such as tangible `Material Value' - such as Land, Commodities, Goods and Services; energy ie`Calorific Value' derived from oil, gas, and other fuels and source.

Data may itself constitute `Intellectual Value' - such as music, video, information, the written word and software and may exist in electronic or tangible form. It, too, may then be defined in a subject/object pairing through the concept of "intellectual property".

Other forms of Value are however not definable by data: who has not paid more than an object is "worth" because it has "sentimental" Value?

In particular we see:`Emotional Value' - at its most basic, the need to love and to be loved, but extending into the concept of Society; 'Spiritual Value' - who am I? Why am I here? Questions in relation to God and the relationship with the eternal.

We may therefore look at the "transaction" or "value event" in a new light. We may, for instance be prepared to exchange Material Value for the right to watch a film - Intellectual Value - from which we derive Spiritual and/or Emotional Value. As these different types of Value accumulate they form Static Value/ Capital, in Material, Intellectual or other forms. The creation and circulation of Value essentially comprises the concept we know of as "Money".

If that doesn't explain what I mean, then tough, it's my best shot: at least I know what I mean! ;-)

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Mar 12th, 2008 at 02:26:10 PM EST
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