RE: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Thu Nov 12 2009 - 04:26:58 EST

They may not be used up, but they may only be used a finite number of times, this would be a sufficient condition to assign a value to them.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Paula
Sent: 12 November 2009 00:45
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

Yes, broadly I agree with Paul A on this, especially his point that
knowledge resources are impossible to value 'because they are not used up by
being used'. Knowledge, then, is not alienable, and therefore IMO not a

The special legal category of 'intellectual property' should alert us that
there is something different about knowledge - the factory worker does not
have any property rights over the commodities he makes; the factory owner
does not have any property rights over the future use of the commodities he

Another funny thing about knowledge is that the consumer often plays an
active role in its production. For example, the reader brings his own
interpretation and experiences to his reading, hence the reader also
'produces' the novel. This is not a trait of value, but of use-value (the
use-value of a car, say, depends not only on the useful labor embodied in it
but also on how and why you want to drive it).


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Received on Thu Nov 12 04:33:58 2009

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