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Publications [#238084] of Neil de Marchi

Chapters in Books

  1. De Marchi, N, Confluences of value: Three historical moments, in Beyond Price, Value in Culture, Economics, and the Arts, edited by Michael Hutter and David Throsby (January, 2007), pp. 200-219, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, ISBN 9780521862233 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/01/18)

    Introduction Can artistic, cultural, and economic valuations ever be determined on common ground? The economist is inclined to say yes, in principle; as in an hedonic regression, artistic and cultural worth may be thought of as factors that help to explain variations in market price. However, this presupposes not only that artistic and cultural value can be scaled suitably, but that economic value somehow encompasses the other two sorts. Focusing solely on the latter point, the inclination of art theorists and cultural anthropologists is to assert that just the opposite is the case. Philosophers of aesthetics contend that artistic value is intrinsic, bound up in the experience of art, and is not reducible to some external use- or pleasure-value. Cultural anthropologists for their part argue that cultural value turns on meanings, whose implications extend to personal and group identities, which in turn are simply incommensurable with price. Moreover, identities are often threatened by markets, which arbitrarily alter and displace them without being able to substitute for the losses. Despite such difficulties, conversations about artistic worth, cultural meaning, and market value take place, as they must, in any context where limited financial resources are allocated to the support of art or culture. And, whether we like it or not, in those conversations tacit agreements are reached about relative values in each sphere.