Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER III.: Of the measure of Utility, or of Value. - A Treatise On Political Economy
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
CHAPTER III.: Of the measure of Utility, or of Value. - Antoine Louis Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy, A Treatise On Political Economy 
A Treatise on Political Economy: to which is Prefixed a Supplement to a Preceding Work on the Understanding or Elements of Ideology; with an Analytical Table, and an Introduction on the Faculty of the Will (Georgetown: Joseph Milligan, 1817).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Of the measure of Utility, or of Value.
Whatever contributes to augment our enjoyments and to diminish our sufferings, is useful to us.
We are frequently very unjust appreciators of the real utility of things.
But the measure of utility which, right or wrong, we ascribe to a thing is the sum of the sacrifices we are disposed to make to procure its possession.
This is what is called the price of this thing, it is its real value in relation to riches.
The mean then of enriching ourselves is to devote ourselves to that species of labour which is most dearly paid for, whatever be its nature.
This is true as to a nation as well as to an individual.
Observe always that the conventional value, the market price of a thing, being determined by the balance of the resistance of sellers and buyers, a thing without being less desired becomes less dear, when it is more easily produced.
This is the great advantage of the progress of the arts. It causes us to be provided for on better terms, because we are so with less trouble.