It’s not quite topical to the things I usually talk about on this blog, but my advisor recently gave a talk at Google that has now been posted to video:
Jackendoff’s talk on “The Peculiar Logic of Value” centers on how humans conceptualize systems of value. He hypothesizes that value is conceptualized as an abstract property attributed to objects, persons, and actions. There are several distinct types of value, including Affective value (does it feel good or bad?); Utility (is it good for me?); Prowess (is so-and-so good at doing such-and-such); Normative value (is it good of so-and-so to do such-and-such?); Personal Normative value (is so-and-so a good person?); and Esteem (does so-and-so have a good reputation?). Each of these kinds of value plays a different role in the ecology of the value system.