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What if value is value?

  1. Dec 17, 2003 #1
    One of the greatest philosophical questions is "What is value?". What if it answers itself; what if value is value?

    For instance, we assign a certain value to a certain bit of knowledge. We say that the true value of the knowledge is that it can be used to do something else, which does something else, etc. However, even if we don't use the knowledge it was still valuable. Why?

    What if value is just value? Whatever value we assign to that bit of knowledge is its value, and the reason it is value is that it has that value? Heh, a little hard to follow...

    I've just attempted to write out some of this stuff in a sort of mathematical form, but I lack the energy to do so correctly right now... But any comments on value, the value of value, purpose as opposed to value, or value being value are welcome. Yeah... :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2003 #2


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    Something in our human nature seems to make us want to value what we find in the world. This piece of chipped flint works better than that one. This gem is more prescious to me than that one. I treasure this friend more than that one.

    Everything we are conscious of, including mathematical theorems and defecation experiences, seems to be assigned a value.

    A related question is, is there an absolute value (for anything) or are all values relative? In the latter case the value system of an individual could be represented as a partial ordering or a lattice.

    A hot topic in condensed matter theory is networks where the nodes model human individuals and the links some kind of interaction. And some if these links have numbers assigned to them representing some kind of value (degree of trust between individuals, for example). It would be interesting to consider the mappings of such networks into the lattice of possible value relationships. what is the spectrum?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2003
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