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Value And Meaning Essay

1790 words - 8 pages

In Robert Nozick’s The Examined Life, he talks about his interpretations of the words in his chapter titled Value and Meaning and how we use their definitions in the dimension we know to be as reality. Value, defined by Nozick, is a word that gives an object meaning to a person or something that has one’s own intrinsic specialty. Meaning on the other hand, is defined to be having a connection beyond the boundaries of value. Both words can relate to each other and yet still have much more meaning than the definitions that are provided. Looking further into Nozick’s observations of value and meaning, there are parts of his supporting arguments that I support and others I face contradictions with. After going through the definitions in the chapter, we take them and we apply them to other objects and emotions in our lives and see what we can do to improve the meaning and value of each object. From here, we will truly learn more about the examined life in terms of value and meaning in our everyday lives. At the end of this analysis, we should further understand the meaning of the two words and be able to differentiate or relate one to the other.
Nozick supports his definition of value as objects that have meaning. He used paintings and works of art as an example to show how different colors and strokes of a brush on a canvas can give meaning to priceless works of art. Nozick also uses the term “organic unity” as a way to connect interrelations between paintings and how organs and tissues of a body help preserve life in a body. Other objects observed to have value are scientific theories that everyone appears to agree upon when we are told of them. Theories here are broken down as a type of unity in diversity. Here, we evaluate theories and test their unity and as well as how much proof is existing and the tightness of the unity is measured.
Evaluating Nozick’s definition of value, I see that some features are missing. Value’s meaning should not be just about organic unity or art works and theories. The other definitions of value should be considered when dealing with currency and objects of possession. Why does currency have value in our reality? Exchange rates and different countries and their currency only have value because we give them and treat them to be something of value. We see a dollar to have some organic unity where the paper material consisting of chemicals and molecules that bind together form the material that we value as money is one way of looking at Nozick’s definition when it comes to value. In terms of diversity, there are all types of currency with different values and exchange rates giving us value wherever we go. In general, the meaning of value can be interpreted in multiple ways.
Meaning is taught to us as having a connection outside the restrictions of value that attach to somebody. Nozick asks us to question the meaning of life since our existence in this world is limited till death which is the final phase of our...

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