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MAX SCHELERS VALUE ETHICS

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					MAX SCHELER’S VALUE ETHICS

LIFE
Born 22 August 1874 in Munich, Germany of Jewish mother and Lutheran father. 1889 lured to Catholicism; alienation from family.

LIFE
1893: graduate from gymnasium, beginning of relationship with Amelie von Dewitz, studies at University of Munich (psychology and medicine)

LIFE
1894: studies at U..of Berlin, influences from Dilthey and Simmel. 1895 studies at U. of Jena 1897 Ph.D. with Rudolf Eucken as advisor.

LIFE
1899: baptism in Catholic Church in Munich. Marriage with Amelie von Dewitz in Berlin. 1900; starts as privatdozent in Jena. MeetsEdmund Husserl in Halle. 1906: moves to teach at U. of Munich. Contact with Dietrich von Hildrebrand & other phenomenologists.

LIFE
1908: meeting with Maerit Furtwangler 1910: scandal-trial in Munich and suspension of license to teach. Starts private lectures with in Gottingen, with help of von Hildebrand. 1912: divorce from Amelie. Marriage to Maerit Furtwangler .

Life
1914: start of world war, volunteers but rejected, writes on behalf of Germany. Deepening of religious life. 1916: Maerit becomes a Catholic, retreat in Benedictine Abbey, returns to Church. 1918: end of war. Appointment at U. of Cologne.

LIFE
1919: meeting with Maria Scheu. 1923: Maerit leaves Cologne. Divorce. 1924: civil marriage with Maria Scheu. 1928: appointment at U. of Frankfurt. Sudden death of heart attack on May 19.

THREE PERIODS
1. Idealist period under R. Eucken corresponding to affair with Amelie. 2. Phenomenological Circle, corresponding to marriage with Maerit. 3. Sociology of Knowledge, coinciding with marriage to Maria.

SCHELER’S PERSONALITY
Scheler’s weakness: erotism. Whenever he had to choose between a higher value and the sexual attraction of a woman, with pangs of conscience but unable to do underwise, he chose lower value. Yet his life is a negative example of what he taught: values are objective, and when a person fails to respond to call of value, it is not the value that is destroyed but the person.

PHENOMENOLOGY
Phenomenology’s aim: to get to things themselves, to arrive immediately at the self-given—that which is given immediately without interference of symbols of whatever kind. Scheler calls this the “a priori” or what is already there.

PHENOMENOLOGY
First step in method is Epoche. Epoche is suspending natural attitude, preconceptions, prejudices. For Scheler, not only an intellectual exercise but also bracketing of the heart. (Chuang Tze’s “Fasting of the Heart”)

PHENOMENOLOGY
Next comes reductions. Scheler’s forte is the eidetic reduction. Eidetic reduction is reducing the experience to its eidos, its essence, by varying conditions of the object until an invariant is reached. Eidos is the a priori, unchangeable essence, independent of sensory functions, symbols, contingent factors of experience.

PHENOMENOLOGY
Four kinds of “fact” or truth: 1. Common-sense 2. Scientific 3. Phenomenological: differs from 1 & 2 in that they are a priori, no intermediary. A priori for Scheler not limited to the intellect. Ordre du coeur, logique du coeur. 4. Metaphysical: knowledge for the sake of salvation.

PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
A philosophy of moral value must find its foundation on a philosophy of the human person, because the moral act is the personal act of the whole person. Scheler avoids 2 extremes: the human being as simply the highest form of animal, and the human being as totally different from other forms of life.

PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
The human being has both psyche, whose seat is ego, and spirit, whose seat is person. As ego, human being has: 1. Emotional impulses of plants 2. Instinctive behavior of lower animals 3. Associative conditioned reflexes of higher animals 4. Practical intelligence of higher animals.

PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
The human being is primarily spirit. As spirit, humans can stand against drive of evolution; he is self-thinking freedom, free to determine himself. Person is the center of activity correlated with spirit .

PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Three features of human being as person: 1. Self-consciousness which gives rise to world (vs. environment) 2. Ability to distinguish “thusness” from “thisness” of things, to objectify. Ens amans, ability to love.

PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Love is the fundamental spiritual act. Love and hatred are primarily movements, movements of the heart towards values. Love is the movement from lower to higher values; enhances values. Hatred moves to lower values, a disorder of the heart for our heart is primarily ordered to love. As movements, love and hatred different from like and dislike.

PHENOMENOLOGY OF FEELINGS
Epoche: bracket prejudice against feelings as chaotic, fleeting, unrealiable. Emotional aspects of consciousness, like feeling, preferring, loving and hating, are a priori, immediate relations among objects called values. Feelings cannot be controlled or managed arbitrarily; they can be controlled or managed only indirectly, by controlling their causes and effects (expression, action).

PHENOMENOLOGY OF FEELINGS
Order and stratification of emotional life: 1. Sensible feelings or feelings of sensation 2. Feelings of the lived body or feeling states, and feelings of life as functions. 3. Psychic feelings 4. Spiritual feelings (feelings of the personality)

PHENOMENOLOGY OF FEELINGS
Only spiritual feelings are in essence intentional, meaning directed to an object, a value. Psychic feelings, feeling-states and sensible feelings may or may not be directed to a value.

PHENOMENOLOGY OF FEELINGS
In any striving or willing, the following components are to be found: 1. Feeling directed towards a value 2. Feeling state from which striving and willing issue forth 3. Feeling which accompanies execution of willing and striving.

PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE
Values are a particular class of ideal objects Objects of our feelings. Mind is blind to values just as eyes are blind to sounds and ears deaf to colors. Qualities, different from goods or carriers of value. In essence, objective, eternal and immutable.

PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE
Independent of subject, though related to it, and of social, historical, contingent factors of situation. These can be carriers of values. Independent of subjective emotional states. Independent of our striving, though they form the basis of our ends or striving.

PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE
Values are given to us immediately in acts of preferring, the most fundamental of which is love and hatred. Preferring, not the same as choosing. Object of choosing is a good, already implying a value comprehension. Love is an immediate attitude towards objects of value which encompasses always a whole complex grades of value. Love not a state of feeling.

HIERACHY OF VALUES
Hierarchy of values invariable, a priori, although rules for preferring one value to another varies throughout history. Rank of values not mediated by intellect but known intuitively by logique du coeur. Two groups: positive and negative. Existence of positive value is positive value. Nonexistence of positive value is negative value. Existence of negative value is negative value, Non-existence of negative value is positive value.

HIERARCHY OF VALUES
holy/unholy Spiritual I
I
Vital I

I
Sensory I

HIEARCHY OF VALUES
1. Sensory Values: the pleasant and its negative, the unpleasant. Objects of sensory feelings, and corresponding subjective states are delight and pain. We always prefer the pleasant, although carriers vary Also technical values, values of civilization and luxury values.

HIEARCHY OF VALUES
2. Vital Values: the noble and the vulgar. Values connected with general wellbeing. Corresponding feeling-states are health, sickness, aging, exhaustion, vitality, etc. Feeling-toned responses: being pleased, anger, courage, anxiety, etc.

HIERARCHY OF VALUES
3. Spiritual Values: justice/injustice; truth, of which scientific and culture values are derivative; aesthetic values of beautiful and ugly. Feeling-states: joy, sorrow Feeling responses: delight, dislike, approval, disapproval, reverence, contempt, retaliation, sympathy.

HIEARCHY OF VALUES
4. Values of the Holy and Unholy. Appear on objects given as “absolute objects”. Derivative values: sacraments, forms of worship. Feeling-states of bliss, despair Feeling-responses: belief, unbelief, awe, worship, etc.

HIEARCHY OF VALUES
Characteristics of higher values: 1. Ability to endure 2. Indivisibility 3. Generates other values 4. Gives deeper satisfaction 5. Independence of experiencing organism.

MORAL VALUES
Positive: Good. Negative: Evil. Good and evil “ride on the back of the deed” Not in front, which can be the end or the result. Not in the end for this would bring us in circles. Not in the result for we would have to wait for the result to happen before a deed can be good or evil.

MORAL VALUES
Good is the realization of a higher value in place of a lower value or of a positive value in place of a negative value. Evil is the realization of a lower value in place of a higher value or of a negative value in place of a positive value.

MORAL VALUES
Moral values of good and evil are personal not only in the superficial sense of coming from the person who acts but in deeper sense of contributing to formation of our person. Since higher values of holy and spiritual pertain to person, and lower values of vital and sensory pertain to ego, moral values of good and evil form our personhood. Doing good makes us more of a person while doing evil makes us less of a person.

CRITIQUE
Nicolai Hartmann: Values must also be considered in their weight, not only in height. The lower values are heavier because they are more basic. Necessary to realize first lower values before higher ones. Similar to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

CRITIQUE
But values are different from needs. Needs grounded on values. Heavy weight of lower values only points to gravity of transgression against them (social injustice). Moral life demands we respond to call of higher values. When we fail to respond, not the value that is destroyed but ourselves.

CRITIQUE
Hans Reiner adds 9 principles in preferring values: 1. Temporal need 2. Greater number of values to be realized. 3. Greater chance of success. 4. Greater or more urgent need.

5. Negative demand that an existing but endangered value will remain instead of answering a new value. 6. Lack of persons to realize a value. 7. Special talent, skill, possessions to realize a value. 8. More capable of realizing a value than another 9. Principle of daimonion.

The End


				
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