General Theory of Value: Its Meaning and Basic Principles Construed in Terms of Interest

General Theory of Value: Its Meaning and Basic Principles Construed in Terms of Interest

General Theory of Value: Its Meaning and Basic Principles Construed in Terms of Interest

General Theory of Value: Its Meaning and Basic Principles Construed in Terms of Interest

Excerpt

There are two kinds of philosophy: that which cuts the Gordian knot, and that which attempts to untie it. The present book aims to exemplify the latter rather than the former method, and if it should prove tedious, that fault will be due in part, at least, to the fact that untying is a less swift and dramatic performance than a blow of the sword.

The philosophical method with which I should like to associate myself aims, furthermore, to bridge the gap between common-sense and science; by refining the former, and by extending the latter. The results are not likely to recommend themselves either to common-sense or to science, being too technical to please the one and not sufficiently technical to please the other. The range of the present topic is so broad as to touch almost every popular conviction and overlap almost every province of science. Believing that philosophy must face the facts of life and nature, taking them as both the point of departure and the touchstone of truth, I am perpetually haunted by the accusing presence of some expert who possesses in this or that special field a mastery which I can never attain. I have escaped some blunders through the friendly assistance of my colleagues Professor Walter B. Cannon and Professor Clarence I. Lewis. It would have taken an army of friends to have rid a book such as this of all blunders. But I know of no safe and prudent course for one who would be both an empiricist and a philosopher. He must run the risk of inaccuracy, or even court it, for the sake of that comprehensiveness of view, that tracing of connections and of contours, which is the only contribution to human wisdom which, as philosopher, he can hope to make.

Even so, one can never be comprehensive enough. I realize that what I have here in some measure set in order . . .

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