Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Every phenomenon is a valuation.

Do the Dewey, and you too will see the light.

Seriously, however, John Dewey's position has been compared to Max Scheler, although I cannot recall a systematic treatment.  Anyone know of any?


  1. Jason,
    I am inclined to agree, but just want to check. What do you mean by "valuation"?

    Would you say that there is something like an a priori value for all phenomena (as in, *that* any phenomenon which appears is of a value as such, perhaps at some basic level simply in is appearing)? Scheler has an order of value, so that is why I ask.

    In a Whiteheadian sense valuation could also mean something like, every phenomenon is an "achievement."

    I suppose that I may be inquiring as to what the difference may be between "value" and "valuation." Valuation signaling an activity to my ear, value something generic and rich, applicable to or even constituting the nature of experience itself. Experience is, in other words, value.

    Do we say, of value? Valuing? Valuation, a process ...?

    Leon / after nature

  2. Leon,

    "Valuation" is a technical term in Dewey, fyi, which is best explained in his _Theory of Valuation_. I'll give a short answer now, as I am beset by grading.

    No, there is not an a priori value for phenomena. Rather, all action is valuation, a selectivity of nature wherein selection implies granting greater or less value to something. Value is determined functionally, i.e., this is good for a given purpose, and the ultimate criterion is life. Valuation is pre-phenomenological.

    Dewey does not have an order of value, an ordo amoris.

    Value does constitute the nature of experience itself because activity is valuation--which is not strictly a human affair btw though Dewey focuses on the human. To nitpick, "Experience is valuation"; valuation is continuous activity while "value" is an event.

    The seminal book of the field in James Gouinlock's John Dewey's Theory of Value. My dissertation gives a processive reading of valuation and unifies it with Dewey's latent phenomenology. I've been revising it as a book, but have barely had time this semester.