Abstract: This article offers a version of understanding values as elements of culture. As a fundamental idea, Adam Smith accepted the classical theory of labor value, but with a significant generalization of this idea from the economic context as a special case to the general theoretical level of social philosophy, in which values are understood as products of any, both practical and intellectual activity. The principle of social egocentrism and interpretation of the main categories of values are also proposed Скачать в формате PDF
4 American Scientific Journal № ( 20 ) / 201 8
Victor Kryukov
D-r of Sc (Philos), Prof., Chief of the Department of Philosophy,
Novosibirsk state Technical University,
Russia, Novosibirsk, Karl Marx av., 20.

Abstract: This article offers a version of understanding values as elements of culture. As a fundamental idea,
Adam Smith accepted the classical theory of labor value, but with a significant generalization of this idea fr om the
economic context as a special case to the general theoretical level of social philosophy, in which values are
understood as products of any, both practical and intellectual activity. The principle of social egocentrism and
interpretation of the ma in categories of values are also proposed.
Keywords: Value, product of labor, person, thing, sign, institution.

The body of philosophical knowledge called axi-
ology (from Greek ἀξία – value, and λόγος – word, the-
ory) deals with the issue of values. Everything created
by people, that is the product of their work, is valuable
because people can not remain indiffere nt to the fruits
of their labor. If I spent part of myself, my time, my
energy, my talent to create some thing or some idea,
then in them, as in the mirror, I see myself. I am biased
towards the fruits of my labor as to incarnation of my-
self, embodiment in to flesh, objectifying of my ideas,
to the fruits of my labor, I admire them, or turn away
from them, I love them or hate them, I see something
mine or someone else's in them, i.e. created by other
people and not for me, and thus alien and strange, and
per haps hostile. [1, p.56 -60]
In existential (from Lat. existentia ) aspect, the
value consciousness has an emotional nature, and there-
fore it is binary, dual: "yes – no", "good – bad", "bonum
– evil". However, values are not personal, but social in
nature a nd they are components of social psychology,
and therefore in social ontology they are social emo-
tions, i.e. experiences that have acquired a social char-
In the essential (from the Latin essentia ) aspect of
values, it is permissible to formulate the principle of so-
cial egocentrism: I value something else because in this
other I see myself, I can not remain indifferent to my-
self. Everything else in society is myself in the trans-
formed form of the product of my activity, the result of
my efforts, and, consequently, I myself am in the exter-
nal – an objectified, embodied form. Of course, the pro-
noun "I" is used here more figuratively: I am a man. But
in the everyday sense this principle is fully applicable
to each of us, including me personally.
In regard to the values, it is acceptable to formu-
late the principle of social egocentricism : I appreciate
anything else, because there I see myself, and I can not
remain indifferent to myself. Everything else in society
is myself in a converted form of the product of my
work, the result of my efforts, and, therefore, it is me in
the outer , i.e. objectified, materialized form. Of course
the pronoun "I" is used here in a more figurative way: I
is a human. But in the everyday sense, this principle is
fully applicable to each of us, including me personally.
To define the value we can formulate the follow-
ing proposition: the value is a measure of the cost of
physical or spiritual efforts of human to the creation or
development of elements of the natural or social envi-
ronment. [2, p.75 -81]
Firstly, it's not about how many calories a person
spends in the process of creating a product. Take a
sculptor: he works very hard physically, but the result
of his work is the artistic image. On the other hand, a
person can spend some minutes, so it seems. For exam-
ple, Byron or Shakespeare could write an impromptu
ballad or sonnet. But t o write a valuable line, it took
them years and years of the formation of the poet's per-
sonality, improving poetic skill and blossoming of the
Secondly, it should be noted that the mastering of
whatsoever – natural or cultural – is also a very time
consuming job. Think of yourself when you were be-
come comfortable with the new shoes bought in the
store; or wearing a "too tight" new dress or pants that
do not perfectly fit; the "disturbance" with the fingers
when you just started to learn how to use t he computer
keyboard. To master a thing to means stop to notice it,
to achieve such a position that it does not interfere, to
make the thing became a part of yourself. I remember
being in the first form when we were taught to hold
pens for writing. The woo den sticks with steel feathers
seemed to be the logs to us; fingers went numb, and we
stuck out our tongues and panted with the effort to write
hooks and ovals. But month and years passed by and
here I do not notice a pen in my fingers: the movement
became automatic, the stereotypes work, the fingers do
not need to be controlled – literacy became mine : it
went into the shadows, and I stopped to notice it. It is
akin to me and became a continuation of the hand.
Thirdly, mastering occurs equally in respect of the
natural objects as well as the artificial culture products.
If nature initially appears as something external and al-
ien, the alien and external to society is something that
has been created by other people, but it may become
mine, if I spend time, eff ort and will to master it. I learn
from other people to repair anything in the house; I read
books written by other unfamiliar to me people; I ad-
mire the images created by strangers; finally, I suffer or

American Scientific Journal № (20 ) / 201 8 5
become happy, depending on how a work of art influ-
ences me, whether social environment helps me to
achieve something in life or creates obstacles.
The values are binary in their modality, i.e. they
can have both positive and negative sides for the peo-
ple, that is why that all values appear in pairs: good an d
evil, beauty and ugliness, glory and shame, honor and
dishonor, fairness and self -will, justice and volunta-
rism, etc. However, negative values are values too, be-
cause humans create them too, so the term "anti -val-
ues", which can be found in different cont exts, is no
more than a figure of speech. The antivalues are like
antimatter in physics: it is the same substance, but dif-
fers only in the electric charge of the microparticles.
However, like matter and antimatter, values of positive
and negative charges a nnihilate, destroy each other in a
Karl Marx introduced a great formula: human
works together with others even when apparently he's
doing it alone. Take as an example the hero of the novel
by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe . Once on a desert
isla nd, Robinson built a house there, shepherded a herd
of goats, cultivated the field and made boats. Moreover,
with him the storm cast ashore a toolbox, but he had to
be able to use these instruments of labor! Therefore, it
can be argued behind working Robin son had been a
huge crowd of people who had invented ax and saw,
had thought of a way of building houses and had se-
lected varieties of cereals, which eventually were
grown, had brought up Robinson and, more im-
portantly, had taught him to hew and saw, to bu ild and
to plow, to shepherd and to shoot, to boil and to fry: in
short, to live actively ! Hence the principle of Marx is
that labor as a specifically human activity has a public
Typology of the social values unfolds in the social
square : four components of the structure of the social
system. Their are people, things, signs, and institutions
[3, p. 523 -527] .
People are reasonable human beings, who become
like this due to mastering things as a result of practice.
Man refers to things objectively, i.e. he identifies the
vital, essential content in them, makes the object of ac-
tivity an item of production. People are themselves
products of labor of their parents, grandparents, nannies
and caregivers, tea chers and educators, masters and tu-
tors, lecturers and professors. And because education of
the human person requires a lot of time and effort of
many people, the man is the most labor -intensive prod-
uct, and therefore the greatest value, which type is
call ed personalized (from Lat. persona ).
Things are artificial objects, created by people as
a result of processing of natural materials, made from
this materials to meet the vital needs of people. These
are values, bearing the imprint of human attachments
and means to achieve human goals. People acquire hu-
man quality solely by virtue of the mastering of things,
and things become artificial solely by virtue of the cre-
ation and mastering of them by a human. Because man
does not do anything "for no special reason ", and all his
actions have a very definite meaning, i.e. the purpose
as the idea of the future as the product of labor, the ar-
tificial things unlike fragments of nature are informa-
tive, because in them invisibly (Implicitly! Virtually!),
there is a human himself. Due to the fact that things are
designed to meet our material needs, i.e. needs in matter
and energy, they form a special type of values: utilitar-
ian (from Lat. utilita – use) values.
People and things are the primary elements of so-
ciety. However, on the basis of primary cells arise sec-
ondary elements of society, or modified form of people
and things. Institutions and signs act as such.
Institutions (from Lat. institutum – establishment)
are the organizational forms of social life, the aggregate
social roles as matrices of human behavior, where these
roles are represented as transformed, i.e. people modi-
fied into secondary product. Assume that there is a cer-
tain social role: for example, a post of a Dean of the
Faculty. So, there are service instruc tions prescribing
all actions to the dean, defining his rights and responsi-
bilities, and it is a form. Who will do it all – John Smith
– is important, but under the indispensable condition of
performance of these official functions. There is a hu-
man as a " natural person" like any of us; and there is a
human as a "legal person", i.e. an official in the office,
a defendant in court, a deputy in Congress, etc. And a
human as a legal person behaves not as he would like
to, but as he is prescribed to. This is a social role. [4,
p.84 -87]
We all play a variety of social roles on a daily ba-
sis. Having come to the university, you are a student or
professor. Out into the street you are a pedestrian. Hav-
ing got on the bus, you are a passenger. Having come
home, you are a son or a father, a husband or a son in
law, and in each case there are its own rules of conduct:
one can be rude to one's mother -in-law, but not to one's
wife; one needs to command a son, but not a mother,
etc. Social roles and social status define the person as
they are usually recorded in the documents. The fact
that the person is a citizen of the state is certified with
a passport; a diploma confirms the completion of higher
education; special certificate proves that a person is a
professor. Thus, the document is a form of objectifica-
tion of social roles.
Similarly, public institutions themselves are ob-
jectified and reified for the most part. A university has
not only legal, but also the actual address, academic
buildings, sports center, cultural cente r, campus and so
much more. All of this is not just a property, but the
"body" of this organization. On the pediment of the en-
trance to the main building the large letters make up the
name of the organization, in all buildings, there are
plates with the na me of the University, on the doors of
classrooms and offices, there are pointers of what is lo-
cated there, or what kind of officer works there. So the
space of university is organized.
Everywhere are the indicator boards showing the
start and end of servic es, office hours of the officials or
there is also a timetable of lectures and seminars at the
dean's office. So the work of the university is orga-
nized. All institutions are functioning likewise: shops
and cafes, administrative bodies and cultural institu-
tions, and so on. We can never confuse a function of
two adjacent buildings in the city center: the City Hall

6 American Scientific Journal № ( 20 ) / 201 8
and the theatre. Architecture structures clearly tell us:
here is the theater!
Signs are the representants of things. If the word
"presentation" m eans "submission", the demonstration,
the prefix "re" means "again", "once more". When we
show someone not the thing itself, but what replaces it,
we use the sign. In the science of signs semiotics (from
Greek, sema – sign pointer), there is the basic defi nition
of sign: it is a thing that stands for another thing . It is
in this sense we say that the sign is a transformed, i.e.
the secondary form of things. What are the signs for?
[5, p. 36 -40]
In Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, there is a
wonderful e pisode when Lemuel Gulliver finds himself
on the flying island of Laputa. Where he, among other
things, meets a group of philosophers, skeptics, who are
struggling with the ambiguity and even polysemanti-
cism in language. For example, when we say the word
"hand", then what actually do we mean? What is it: a
part of the body at the end of the arm, consisting of a
thumb, four fingers, and a palm? The cards dealt to one
or all players in one round of a card game? A pointer
on a dial, indicator, or gauge, especi ally on a clock? Or
we come in the hours of attendance and ask if is it pos-
sible to see Mr. Whatshisname? And his secretary an-
swers: it is not here and will not be! What does it mean?
Who, then, is the head of the department? The meaning
of words and expre ssions are detected in the contexts,
but Laputa skeptics started to solve the problem radi-
cally. They suggested to opt out of words and point the
finger at the right thing or show it to the interlocutor, so
to speak, "live".
It turned out that skeptical philosophers at first
filled their pockets with all sorts of gizmos, then began
to drag behind the knapsacks and sacks with various
objects, but then took the hand carts and finally cart-
loads of different stuff. And what if the thing we want
to speak about is very heavy and non -transportable, is
far away or left in the past and now it has disappeared?
What to bring? Of course, as a satirist, Swift caricatured
the situation, but philosophers -skeptics really existed in
ancient Gre ece, for example, Pyrrho, but the Greeks did
not reach such extremes as in Laputa.
Meanwhile, some skeptics were right somewhere.
If any sign of things figuratively "stands on its behalf
and on its behalf," it is quite possible to argue that the
original in the origin of signs is the autosemiotic rela-
tion , namely: every thing is a sign o f itself . Indeed, if in
a shop window we see the hat, we understand that this
store sells hats and in it you can buy a hat and a cap,
and a panama. If we see on the road at the side of the
pedestal a battered car, then we are likely slow down on
a dangerou s part of road. If we see the installed sculpted
statues of buffalo and bear in front of a building, it is
clear that this a stock exchange, and not a hotel or a
swimming pool. Signsare invented when autosemiotic
relation is difficult or even impossible to implement.
Then people create new things, the only purpose of
which is to represent the first kind things that we can
not have, as such, but of which we can know, that is to
have an idea about them, their image. Correlating with
the latter, we will be abl e to understand what is meant.
You can use anything you like as signs: sounds,
images, smells, gestures, but symbols (from Greek σήμα
– semion , and from Lat. symbolon – sign, contrast ) are
the most commonly used as specifically designed and
well adapted t o meet the challenges of communication,
exchange of signs. Symbol is not a part of the subject,
as indication signs , say, traces on the ground or finger-
prints on the surface of things, even though such signs
are particularly interest criminalists. Symbol i s not a
"portrait" of things like image signs: drawings, paint-
ings, photos, pantomimes. A symbol is something en-
tirely relative, which relation to the subject, to the pri-
mary set thing is purely conventional (from Lat. con-
ventia – agreement). We just had a greed – and all
agreed with this – that the $ sign is a dollar sign, & re-
places the word "and", and % expresses the percentage
or hundredth of a certain value.
From the foregoing, we can constatate that values
are social phenomena, which are de termined by the
active nature of man. A person loves or hates something
in which he embodies himself, whether it be children,
things, signs or social roles. In the products of activity,
the existence of man himself continues as an exercise,
as an objectifi cation of himself - his forces, energy,
talents, genius.
The proposed concept of values allows us to
understand the source of values and the essence of the
value relationship as the emotional experience of any
human achievement - as the s uccess or failure of the
result of efforts and therefore as a matter of pride or
regret and disappointment.
[1] Kryukov V.V. (2015) Philosophy : tutorial for
students and for sientists [Text] / Saarbruchen,
Deutschland/Germany : Academic Publ ishing.
[2] Kryukov V.V. (2018) Axiology Sum: mono-
graph [Text] / Novosibirsk: NSTU Publisher. – (NSTU
Monographs series).
[3] Kryukov V. (2014) The ranks of values [Text]
/ Canadian Journal of Science, Education and Culture.
– Vol. 2, №1 (5).
[4] Kryukov V. (2016) The modes of political val-
ues [Text] / Science, technology and higher education :
materials of the 11 intern. research and practice conf.,
Canada, Westwood, 19 –20 Okt. – Westwood : Accent
Graphics Communications.
[5] Kryukov V. (2016) Language a s a sing system
and a value of communication [Text] / The USA Jour-
nal of Applied Sciences. – № 3.