Skip to main content

Publication Details

Problems and the Position of Axiology

(Original title: Problémy a postavenie axiológie)
Filozofia, 23 (1968), 2, 113-128.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
Since long ago, human practice as well as philosophy have been trying to answer the question of what is the difference between the statements of the type „two and two equals four“ and „this woman is beautiful“. In this way, the interest arose in the problems of evaluation and values, in the nature of evaluating criteria and norms and in the whole area of phenomena called axiological. For a long time, these questions were solved partly in philosophy, partly in some philosophical disciplines, particularly in ethics and aesthetics. In the 19th century, the so-called philosophy of values was constituted as a separate philosophical discipline which began being called also axiology. However, the present author does not consider the philosophy of values and axiology as synonyms. Axiology is defined as a general theory of evaluation and values and considered partly as a philosophical discipline (as far as it solves, e. g., the problem of the ontology of values), partly as a scientific one (when it solves, e. g., the occurrence of evaluating opinions in a certain social group). The difference between the philosophy of values and axiology lies also in that axiology has critically to cope with various conceptions inherited from the philosophy of values which was oriented in the past, for a great part, idealistically and speculatively. Axiological systems, built up in the past on objective idealism, subjective idealism as well as mechanical materialism, contradict in reality the dialectical, subjective-objective nature of values. Of course, no dialectical theory of values has been worked out as yet. Marxist philosophy which accepted, until lately, merely the economic concept of value, was in the solution of axiological questions (norms, ideals) considerably influenced by the objective idealistic tradition and, in the opinion about ethical and aesthetical values,, it adhered to the solutions which were esentially mechanically materialistic (objectivistic). Only recently also the soviet philosophical literature began critically and positively to cope with the problem of values and evaluation. Axiological attitudes and manifestations belong to constitutive signs of anthropological structures. Propensities, fteeds and interests are signals and stimuli of evaluating manifestations, and, in general, of what can be called „axiological behavior“ in man. The relations between cognition and evaluation are then dealt with. Though evaluation has its cognitive aspect, it is not reducible to cognitive processes. Dialectical oscillation, negation and cooperation exist between cognition and evaluation. Cognition can become the object of evaluation and the latter can be the object of a „de-subjectified“, i. e., consistently scientific cognition. A similar relation may exist aslo between the truth and value: the truth, as a result of cognition represents, as a rule, a value as well (and can be evaluated). However, there is an essential difference between the truth and value both as to the objective correlate and as to verifiability and intersubjectiveness. The existence of value depends on the due norm while the latter depends on a certain function (individual or social need etc.). Norms which do not follow from partial needs and functions but represent the expression of significant postulates of personality or collective, are called ideals. Axiology can play an important role in the system of disciplines whose task consists in the cognition of man, since evaluating attitudes, evaluation and the creation of values belong to the basic components of man and human practice.
File to download: PDF