A book on ethics and philosophy of values

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4/ Conclusion


If we admit that morality and Axiology are two distinct disciplines, and that the question of the foundation of morality amounts to determining the value of morality, and requires a general investigation into what has any value and what has no value, then we are able to understand this all-important phenomenon: as a last resort, morality must be founded ultimately upon Axiology.
As long as this discipline has not been developed and does not succeed in providing an answer to the question “What has a value?”, we cannot establish whether good has more value than evil, or whether morality has a value or not, and for these reasons, we cannot found morality.

It is noted that ethical thinkers have traditionally attempted to found morality upon itself, i.e. to base morality on a moral concept (for example, moral conscience or moral feelings such as sympathy, pity, etc.).

Over the last century, a certain number of attempts were made to found morality on other disciplines, such as Sociology or Psychology. However, these attempts failed as these disciplines can only determine the origin of morality and not its foundation.

It seems clear from the foregoing that morals are based on Axiology. In other words, this ancestral discipline, about which so many deep reflections have been conducted, relies ultimately on a discipline which does not yet exist, or only in an embryonic form.

To conclude, we can maintain that the oblivion of values has led to three main consequences: the confusion of morals and Axiology, the impossibility for Axiology to exist as an independent and consistent science, and finally, the inability to provide any foundation whatsoever for morality.
It is remarkable that morality has concealed and stifled the very discipline within which its foundation lies, i.e. the discipline containing the possibility of achieving its ultimate goal.

The foregoing shows that the foundation of morality calls for the notion of value, and even relies totally upon this notion. The concept of value then emerges as the fundamental concept to which we must refer in order to carry out the task of founding morality. What does this concept of value mean? How is it to be used in such a research process? What does Axiology, as the science whose purpose is the study of value, look like?

Let us now reflect upon this.

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