Front Page Titles (by Subject) Ambiguity of the term Value. - The Theory of Political Economy
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Ambiguity of the term Value. - William Stanley Jevons, The Theory of Political Economy 
The Theory of Political Economy (London: Macmillan, 1888) 3rd ed.
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Ambiguity of the term Value.
I must, in the first place, point out the thoroughly ambiguous and unscientific character of the term value. Adam Smith noticed the extreme difference of meaning between value in use and value in exchange; and it is usual for writers on Economics to caution their readers against the confusion of thought to which they are liable. But I do not believe that either writers or readers can avoid the confusion so long as they use the word. In spite of the most acute feeling of the danger, I often detect myself using the word improperly; nor do I think that the best authors escape the danger.
Let us turn to Mill's definition of Exchange Value,1 and we see at once the misleading power of the term. He tells us—"Value is a relative term. The value of a thing means the quantity of some other thing, or of things in general, which it exchanges for." Now, if there is any fact certain about exchange value, it is, that it means not an object at all, but a circumstance of an object. Value implies, in fact, a relation; but if so, it cannot possibly be some other thing. A student of Economics has no hope of ever being clear and correct in his ideas of the science if he thinks of value as at all a thing or an object, or even as anything which lies in a thing or object. Persons are thus led to speak of such a nonentity as intrinsic value. There are, doubtless, qualities inherent in such a substance as gold or iron which influence its value; but the word Value, so far as it can be correctly used, merely expresses the circumstance of its exchanging in a certain ratio for some other substance.
[]Principles of Political Economy, book iii., chap. vi.