Aristotle's Politics

Aristotle Economics

What modern economic distinction does Aristotle anticipate in I.8?

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The differentia separating these two “arts” is nothing less than the foundation of one of the most important distinctions in economics as a discipline even today: namely, the distinction between “use value” and “exchange value.” Maybe the easiest way to think about the difference between these two is that use value is marked by “concrete” or “natural” use (i.e. the consumption of a commodity); whereas exchange value is simply marked by a given quantity in the process of exchange (i.e. what a commodity sells for)—perhaps indicative of use value, but certainly not identical with it. It is no accident, then, that exchange value is almost always measured by money.