Aristotle Value Theory

Aristotle Value

The idea of value received little attention, and that little was from the point of view of ethics or justice. Plato says that according to law a man "should not attempt to raise the price, but simply ask the value," implying that value is an absolute quality inherent in the thing. This, however, is but a rudimentary discussion of the subject. Aristotle goes further. His notion of value is clearly subjective, and is based upon the usefulness of the commodity concerned.2 All things which are exchanged must be comparable through some standard of measure, and this standard he finds in man's wants: "In the truest and most real sense, this standard lies in wants, which is the basis of all association among men." An exchange is just, when each gets exactly as much as he gives the other; yet this equality does not mean equal costs, but equal wants. If men want the cobbler's product more than the husbandman's, more grain must be given for shoes.

Money is the medium which makes wants commensurable.