Value – Intrinsic or Subjective?

Value is not intrinsic. It is not in things and conditions but in the valuing subject.

                                    —Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History (posted at Aristotle The Geek)

Or, in other words: Value is subjective. This reminds me of the second paragraph quoted below taken from the Ayn Rand entry in the Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Incidentally this also reminds me that I need to complete reading Theory and History which I started a few months year back and failed to finish.)

Fundamental to Rand’s outlook—so fundamental that she derives the name of her philosophical system, “Objectivism,” from it—is a trichotomy among three categories: the intrinsic, the subjective, and the objective. (Rand 1990, 52–54; Rand 1965, 13–23) An intrinsic phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on factors external to the mind; a subjective phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on the mind; and an objective phenomenon is defined, variously, as that which depends on the relation between a living entity’s nature (including the nature of its mind) and its environment, or as that which depends on the relation between a properly functioning (rational) mind and extramental reality. Commentators are divided over the best way to interpret Rand’s views on this issue.

Rand holds that there is a widespread tendency to ignore the third category or to assimilate it to the second, thus setting up a false dichotomy between the intrinsic and the subjective; on Rand’s view, many of the fundamental questions of philosophy, from the existence of universals to the nature of value, involve fruitless debates over the false alternative “intrinsic or subjective?” in cases where the phenomenon in question is neither intrinsic nor subjective, but rather objective.

(Bold mine. Italics in original)

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