Barbara Herrnstien Smith's Contingency And Interdependence
Topics: Sociology, Psychology, Culture, Motivation, Management, Human behavior / Pages: 2 (480 words) / Published: Apr 13th, 2016

In this chapter, ‘Contingency and Interdependence’ Barbara Herrnstien Smith’s discusses different framework discourses from Heraclitus Derrida, Hume, Bataille, Kant, Habermas, Richard and Frye regarding the value system. Smith provides an alternative structure based on multiple value systems in which she states “All value is radically contingent” (p.30). She also discusses that aesthetic value and judgement values in relation to art are not exempt from contingencies either.

Traditionally when discussing value we refer to the economic systems three variables; Exchange value, utility value, and intrinsic value. In simplistic terms, this is basically the value of the object, what the object is used for and the personal experience gained from
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Personal interests and needs continuously change which influences distribution and production. However, distribution and production, in turn, create the need within an evolving social environment. Furthermore, the satisfaction gained from the experience cannot be classified as a simplistic singular intrinsic value. Subsequently, Smith explains that as people evolve classifications of objects change, reward values, motivations and pleasure derived from the experience or object alter, which again influences the dependence between values, however, she simplifies this as two separate economic systems, the market economy, and personal economy.

Following on from this intrinsic value system Smith introduces aesthetic values in regards to what is art? Who decides what art is? And what basis do we form individual value judgements and preferences otherwise termed ‘taste’.
Historically western culture and academics have formulated the properties that identify what makes art, art or non-high-art and high art. These aesthetic variables form a structure of credibility – by this Smith describes that these pre-classifications and pre-evaluations formulate the labels in which we are able to mutually define art and influences individuals own value

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