I am the professor you wish you had in college. I use shoes to illustrate my points in class many times and I have found they almost always apply. Just yesterday I used the example of couture shoes to express the difference in the Dasein and in synthetic judgments. I realize that I am mixing my philosophers, but it still works for me. German for German, value for value.
It went something like this: the fact that we exist in space cannot be changed and is something we know, but all the things we know about a thing are added, a posteriori, synthetic. It pained me to say it, but, the value we put on Manolo Blahnik shoes is absolutely made up by a certain group of people. Why should we allow them to attach what is utterly synthetic to a thing itself and call it valuable over all else?
Because they can and should. We are human and we define ourselves by our art and culture and there is nothing wrong with declaring one thing prettier and better than other things. Otherwise, I'd have a so called masterpiece in the museum and a Kandinsky on my wall because it would not have value beyond the value I chose for it at that moment. That's the other thing about the desire to take away value: it forces value to be something unattainable, transitory and utterly beyond our grasp. Part of the reason we value things is to be able to achieve them. After all, we strive to achieve and count it one of our nobler qualities because we value things or ideas. That's a good thing.
Shoes embody value and all that is right and noble in our species.
Today's favorite shoe:
Friday, June 22, 2007