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Title: Monetary Valuation in the Law, Incommensurability and the Objection from Substitutability
Contributor(s): Walsh, Adrian John (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: A long-standing tradition in philosophy has it that money-measurement is a mere expedient of computation and as such is morally neutral. Thus we have Thorstein Veblen writing in 1909: 'Money values have ... no other significance than that of purchasing power over consumable goods ... ' and more recently, James Griffin, in his 1977 article on incommensurability claiming that money is simply a medium of exchange. We find related views in the work of the economist Lionel Robbins who writes, 'Money as such is obviously merely a means - a medium of exchange, an instrument of calculation. These writers follow in the tradition of Aristotle for whom money-measurement provides us with a convenient means of comparison and in which money-measurement is understood to be morally neutral in much the same way as scientific scales of measurement are neutral. One implication of this view - although it is not one that any of the writers mentioned above draw - is that monetary evaluation per se provides no moral grounds for restricting the range of objects and activities for whichmonetary values might be calculated.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, v.28, p. 103-121
Publisher: ANU
Place of Publication: Canberra
ISSN: 1440-4982
Field of Research (FOR): 220319 Social Philosophy
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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