Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary presents the sixth edition of EPHEMEROPTERÆ, its annual spoken-word performance series. Taking place from June to September 2017 at TBA21–Augarten, it comprises 11 evenings with invited scientists, artists, musicians, curators, authors, and thinkers.
In “Form and the Basis of Value,” Warwick Fox tries to answer the question “what is valuable, and why?”; philosophers have argued that value ultimately resides in the possession of certain kinds of powers or capacities, such as rationality (traditionally restricted to humans), or, more recently, sentience (i.e., the capacity to feel, which also includes many nonhuman animals), being alive (which includes animals as well as plants), or the capacity to maintain some kind of holistic integrity (which arguably also includes ecosystems and, more generally, the ecosphere or biosphere). Other things have then been considered to be valuable only in the secondary or derivative sense that they satisfy, are useful to, or in some other way further the ends of whatever class of entities has been deemed to be intrinsically valuable. In contrast to these approaches, Fox advances the idea that the basis of value actually consists in a certain form of organization (or structure). Of the three most basic forms of organization (“fixed cohesion,” “responsive cohesion,” and “discohesion”), one of these (responsive cohesion) can be shown to lie at the basis of the most valuable examples of their kind in whatever domain of interest we care to consider. Since everything is organized in one way or another, it follows that these ideas have an extremely wide range of applicability.