Value Judgments

Value is…

  • Market-determined wealth, or an estimate of worth
  • An invariant quality, a property of measurement itself, or a perceptual fundament
  • Strictly evaluative in nature (ethical, aesthetic, etc.)
  • Personal or cultural principles or standards (value as socially constructed, a mode of conformity)
  • An imaginary or circular concept (i.e., without rational basis)
0 voters

How do we create values?

What does it mean for a philosopher to distinguish between types of values?

How does ‘value’ function within thought and action?

I went with:

For myself I only believe in physical necessity.

It would depend on how you are using the term ‘value.’ So none of the above.

I’m a real estate appraiser. We have to define market value as:


“Market Value” means the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition are the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:

  1. Buyer and seller are typically motivated;
  2. Both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests;
  3. A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market;
  4. Payment is made in terms of cash in United States dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and
  5. The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.”

I think I agree with different parts of the definitions above.

One thing I’ve learned about value is that THERE IS NO MAGIC NUMBER OUT THERE. Value is deferent for every different person for every different reason!


value is by need.

If I am thirsty and you are selling both water and food. I would buy the water. I need the water, it is more valuable to me. Now should I be foolish and admit this need you of course might jack the price up of the water. Depending upon the level of my need I may just walk away or pay that price or kick you in the groin and take it. I may just kick you for being a jerk too, so that one is iffy on the level scale

If I need something I will place more value on it over and above if I just want something. I may want to buy a house or a new car but, if you have those prices jacked up you can keep your baubles. :laughing:

Value: The relative (or actual) positives associated with acquiring or maintaining any given thing versus the cost or sacrifices that need to be made in order to acquire or maintain it.

That’s my personal definition, anyway.

In order to gain anything, something must be sacrificed. If the sacrifice is more important than what the person is getting in exchange, it has negative value, if it is equal, equal value, and if what the person is getting is of greater importance than the sacrifice, then, the value is positive, that is to say, it has value.

That works with monetary or tangible values, or abstract or moral values, either one. To acquire, keep or maintain anything, some sort of sacrifice must be made. I think it would be fun for someone to prove that last statement wrong, though it would be an eye-opener if someone did prove it wrong.


[b]1. A fair return or equivalent in goods,services, or money for somthing exchanged.

  1. The monetary worth of something

  2. relative worth,utility or importance

  3. Material value.[/b]

Whichever definition people ascribe to, and whichever view one has of “values”, the process used to assign them is most definitely circular. That aplies even to the basic economic model.

To acquire, keep or maintain anything, some sort of sacrifice must be made. I think it would be fun for someone to prove that last statement wrong, though it would be an eye-opener if someone did prove it wrong.

How about life. Is life a zero sum game?

Value, I believe, has an informational component. Within an exchange it also has a consensus component.

Values are relative to the creator.

Sacrifice is necessary but the sacrifice you are talking about which exists in society is completely different than that of other creatures.

The sacrifice you are talking about is where one’s freedom is confined ( Not true genuine freedom) while at the same time that very same individual is in a constant disposal of others.

“Naked I came into this world, and naked I shall leave it, therefore, I have neither gained nor lost.” Don Quixote from Don Quixote-Cervantes

For once I think Joker and I are on the same level.

Value is merely the investment of worth into something or someone. Someone gives value by investment, such as in a work of art. Andy Warhol is crap to me, I could easily wipe my but with that soup can and not blink an eye; there are people that would die before they saw that happen. Differing levelsof value (or non-value) are within the subject.

That said I do ascribe to some things having inherant value, no matter how poorly relegated they are some things necessarily have value from a human perspective. This does not guarantee that all things have inherant value that have value, indeed something like money I wouldn’t believe has inherant value but only a cultually-defined value. Contrarily, human life would be inherantly valuable: even if commodized human life often takes higher ground over all material qualities. Indeed even in WW2 large equipment sacrifices were made to save minimal human gains, illustrating that while humans can be given a material value it is often very high (and usually only put into practice when necessary).

I agree too. Value is relative to the observer and created by them.

Why jump ship? (so to speak). It seemed you claimed value to be relative then claimed there are certain universal or ‘inherent values’? Which is it? I think there are plenty of people throughout history that have shown they do not value ‘human life’, whether it be others’ lives or their own. Or, perhaps we could use the example of a martyr that believes a particular value is more valuable than their life! There are no universal values. Value itself is created by us. If none of us were here, would there be human values?.. No. This demonstrates that value is relative or created by us.

There is no such thing as VALUE out in the world. I give the example of a gold bar or gold standard. People would like to go back to a gold standard because they seem to think there is inherent value in gold. A man holds a gold bar in your face and says, “See this!? This bar IS value!” Sorry… It is as worthless as paper, dirt, oil, diamonds, a human toe, snot, uranium, a feather, etc. Nothing HOLDS value. It is people that give it value. We are all AGREEING to use money and value it accordingly. It really is quite amazing to think about how our concept of money is all held on computers now. It isn’t even referenced by paper or gold anymore. In a way it doesn’t exist, and never existed. Only in our minds. And there it doesn’t even really exist… Sorry… I’m wandering… :sunglasses: #-o

For whom? :wink: What are we summing?

First off, the gold bar standard is how hyperreality was explained to me. The idea of a dollar being worth x much gold makes sense as a realistic reference, the ‘value’ (for use of the techincal term) is defined by an actual measure. When the standard was dropped in the 70s, literally because there wasn’t enough gold for all the dollars, the concept of money because a reality based on an image of reality. Money was only ever worth something because there was an external referant of value in order to act as a reference point: when this was abolished the point became moot and money became worth only what we made it worth: hyperreal.

I should have made my point about the subjective/absolute barrier of my interpretation of value clearer: that is simply a contradiction and I such for it. I do believe in the subjective nature of human understanding, that humans are incapable of an objective reality in any form. How a human operates is distinct and unique from every other individual, thus there can be no specific objective reality, although one can be alluded to when similarities arise. But this does not bely that there are no objective realities (or values), merely that we are incapable of realizing them as such in any meaningful way. The best way I can allude to it would be of Kant’s classification of thing-it-itselfs (excuse the poor grammer, I have NO clue how to pluralize it), we can know of them but we cannot know them. We can hold values, but all these can ever ategorically amount to are subjective values as we can have no external referent (gold bar standard par se) for values, but that does not mean that there are no objective values… just a lack of confirmation of such. I pointed to human life as a universal value because of the high level of recognition, most people would hold this as a value: this gives credance that it could be considered more-universal than others. I don’t know if this clarifies anything or walks me down a more convoluted path.

Why does there need to be a real value beyond what we make it to be? Since we can only judge the situation from our own (human) perspective, the human value is the only value we can know with respect to this situation. So, isn’t the debate between human conceived/created reality and the reality that exists beyond humans arbitrary at best and disingenuous at worst?

Feces are very valuable to catfish, since that is what they eat; however, feces have no value in the human economy (aside from indirect effects – such as tasty, tasty catfish). Are catfish right in prizing feces? Are humans right in viewing feces as having no direct value? Or, would it be better to say that feces are valuable to catfish and not valuable to humans and there is no notion of value outside of a relative construct?

I admit it has little value in practice of discussion, but that does not defeat that it is untrue.

A lot of this falls out of a belief in God which suggests that there ARE absolutes in the world, although discussions of subjectivity have thrown into question whether these absolutes can have meaning to us.

I agree it doesn’t necessarily defeat it as untrue; however, if the true value is alienated from the human metric I wonder whether we should actually concern ourselves with it.

Even if the catfish were shown to be objectively correct with respect to feces, I don’t see humans turning around and embracing them for their true value. Given that, what would such a discovery accomplish? And that is without even considering how one could go about discovering such a thing.

Since philosophy is, at its heart, learning to be human I would argue that elements that are alienated from humanity are of relatively little value (possibly even no value) within the context of the discussion.