Introduction: Values of Value

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Excerpt From Essay

"To embark upon the study of value is to enter a field well trodden by others. From Smith and Ricardo to Marx and Mauss, and by way of Simmel and Saussure, the category has been used in varied ways to illuminate ethical, economic, aesthetic, logical, linguistic, and political dimensions of human life. Over the course of the 20th century, divergent understandings of value have often been expressed in terms of dyadic distinctions: Value is about measure or meaning; it is material or symbolic, secular or sacred, abstract or concrete, individual or collective, qualitative or quantitative, global or local. Its origins and content can be found in either production or in exchange, in structure or in process. To inquire into value often has meant to choose between focusing on social relations or objects, the makeup of persons or of polities, systems of meaning or patterns of action."

"Introduction: Values of Value," Paul Eiss and David Pederson (283).

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