Re: [OPE] The Labour Theory of Value: a Marginal Analysis

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Sun Sep 14 2008 - 10:51:24 EDT

I agree Jurriaan. There is nothing wrong with this distinction. However, the key to understand deeper disagreements in Economic Science is on the relationship between subjective use-value and objective use-value, between the heating power of coal and the sensation of heating experienced by one person. We all know that there are people more sensitive to cold than others; some believe they need higher temperatures to feel comfortable in winter, while others require less temperature. Even ideological aspects enter. Some people concerned about the environment will reduce the temperature of their heaters, even though subjectively they feel they need more temperature to be warmed. Concerning institutional arrangements, whenever freedom of the consumer is involved subjective use-value is the sieve through which must pass objective use-value.   Regards, A. Agafonow   ----- Mensaje original ---- De: Jurriaan Bendien <> Para: Enviado: domingo, 14 de septiembre, 2008 12:52:27 Asunto: [OPE] The Labour Theory of Value: a Marginal Analysis In his treatise, Ludwig van Mises - like Marx in his 1859 work - acknowledges a distinction between objective and subjective use-value: The praxeological notion of utility (subjective use-value in the terminology of the earlier Austrian economists) must be sharply distinguished from the technological notion of utility (objective use-value in the terminology of the same economists). Use-value in the objective sense is the relation between a thing and the effect it has the capacity to bring about. It is to objective use-value that people refer in employing such terms as the “heating value” or “heating power” of coal. Subjective use-value is not always based on true objective use-value. There are things to which subjective use-value is attached because people erroneously believe that they have the power to bring about a desired effect. On the other hand there are things able to produce a desired effect to which no use-value is attached because people are ignorant of this fact.   I don't see there's anything wrong with that distinction as such.   Jurriaan

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