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Kinds of Value

An Experiment in Modal Anthropology

In this slim volume, anthropologist Paul Kockelman showcases, reworks, and extends some of the core resources anthropologists and like-minded scholars have developed for thinking about value. Rather than theorize value head on, he offers a careful interpretation of a Mayan text about an offering to a god that lamentably goes awry. Kockelman analyzes the text, its telling, and the conditions of possibility for its original publication. Starting with a relatively simple definition of value—that which stands at the intersection of what signs stand for and what agents strive for—he unfolds, explicates, and experiments with its variations. Contrary to widespread claims in and around the discipline, Kockelman argues that it is not so-called relations, but rather relations between relations, that are at the heart of the interpretive endeavor.

72 pages | 4 1/2 x 7

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

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Table of Contents

1. Nuts to an Anthropological Theory of Value 2. A Relation between Agents Mediated by a Relation between Entities 3. Saussurean Values 4. Inalienable Possessions 5. Aesthetic Value, Poetic Function, Equivalence Framing 6. Chickens, Machetes, and Chains: Meta-Equivalence and The Purification of Value 7. Singularities, Replacements, Commodities(and Something Else Entirely) 8. The Translation of Equivalence: Value, Sense, Path 9.Possible Worlds: From Saussure’s Value to Frege’s Sense (and Truth Value) 10. Reworded Possibilities: From Imagining Outcomes to Second-Guessing Actions 11. The Wording and Worlding of Truth-Value 12. Commensurationand Comparison 13. The Genealogy of Intensity, The Revaluation of Value 14. Semiotic Values 15. The Regimentation and Internalization of Value 16. From Figures to Grounds: Labor Power and Semiotic Potential 17. The Commodity is a Semiotic Process 18. Grounding Economic Value, and/or Regimenting Price 19. A Mayan Ontology of The Anti-Commodity 20. Energy, Workand Friction 21. Conversion, Preservation, and Evil 22. Affordances, Instruments, and Actions 23. Action, Agency, Excellence, and Existential Values 24. From Short-Term to Long-Term Action 25. Agency, Personhood, Power 26. Credit, Debt, Ownership, and the Personification of Deontic Modality 27.Felicity and Felicitousness, Aristotle and Austin 28. The /Hau/, qua Performativity and Inter(im)subjectivity of Economic Rituals 29. Renown and Resound: The Care of Selfand The Curation of Stories 30. Evaluative Standards, Ideals, and Second-Order Desire 31. The Story as a Representation of Ideal Actionsand/or Ethical Persons 32. The Stories We Tell are (More or LessEquivalent to) Kula Shells 33. Meta-Ideals, Idols, and/or The Worthiness of Others’ Worlds

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