Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Paula <>
Date: Mon Nov 16 2009 - 22:26:28 EST

Paul C asked
> How many songs from the 1910s have you listened to.

I've listened to La Traviata, which is much older. OK, Abba is not Verdi,
but it does have a certain appeal, as Jurriaan and Jerry have explained, so
who knows how long their songs will last? Surely it will not depend on the
durability of media but on the popularity of the songs - for whatever

> Knowledge, we must remember, is not something imaterial,
> it is not 'ideas'. It is always embodied in a material carrier : books,
> records, or the far more perishable human brain. These
> embodyments do wear out, just like other means of production.
> Labour must be expended to maintain them, and in the absence
> of this maintainance it is lost.

I agree with Paul that knowledge is always embodied in material carriers;
yet it is not the same as those carriers. A song is something beyond a CD; a
novel is something beyond a book. That doesn't mean they are anything
'immaterial', only that their materiality encompasses more than just their
physical substrate.

We know that the carrier is not equivalent to the carried because, for
example, Ulysses is the same novel whether in hardback or in paperback. And
so I agree with Jerry that their values [if any] don't correspond.


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Received on Mon Nov 16 22:30:25 2009

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