Value as a species of Good

When we speak of good, we often say that something is “good for…” whereas when we speak of the value we say that something is “valuable to…” or “X values…” Good connotes a certain passivity. This is good for you, whether you like it or not. Value on the other hand connotes a certain activity. I value this, whether it is good for me or not.

Value, I propose, is the good with respect to some will. Exercise may be good for me, but I do not value it because I find it distasteful. In this, I value irrationally because my will is disordered contrary to the good. However, it is with respect to my will directing me away from perceived evil (arduous exercise) and therefore some good (relief from perceived evil) that I speak of value. I may also value things that are not good or not as good as I suppose them to be. I may highly value gold, though it is good for very little.

Value as a species of good is bound by the objective standards of the good. As we speak of the apparent good, so too we can speak of the apparent value. I value, that is I will, the possession of gold, but only because it has a perceived or apparent value greater than reality. I may will some apparent good, relief from suffering, in willing my own death, but such is clearly incoherent.

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One Response to Value as a species of Good

  1. Pingback: Price and Value | Infinite Semiosis

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