Claiming Value: From Aristotle to Black Lives Matter with Dr. Alena Wolflink
Value is usually theorized from the frameworks of economic theory or of moral/ethical theory, but in her new book, Claiming Value, Alena Wolflink argues that we need to instead think about value foremost as political. Discussing a tension in value discourses between material and aspirational life, she shows that erasing this tension, as has been the historical tendency, can entrench existing configurations of power and privilege, while acknowledging the tension is a vital part of democratic practice. Wolflink argues that abstractions of value discourse in both economic theory and moral philosophy have been complicit in devaluing the lives of women, queer people, and people of color. Yet she further argues that value claims nonetheless hold democratic potential as a means of asserting and defining priorities that center the role of political economy in the making of political communities.