Formal axiologies probably represent an advance on intuitionism.

They at least recognise that there is something like a problem of values, and they assume that a discipline whose object is to resolve this problem must be formed.

Moreover, the fact that they reject any attempt to determine what is or is not of value, and confine themselves to determining the formal laws that must underlie axiology, shows that they are based on an epoché of values, and that they have accepted the fact that values are not yet founded.

Nevertheless, the limit of formal axiologies is inscribed in their very project: they do not claim to reveal any truth concerning the content of axiology itself (i.e. to determine what does or does not have a value), but only to constitute a formal framework within which axiology could be deployed.

Their epoché is not content with a critical return to the value of everything, but goes so far as to do away with the axiological question itself.

Here, as in intuitionism, the problem of values does not arise, since a project has been initiated that precludes any reflection on the actual content of value judgements. Husserl himself agrees: What is good cannot be decided formaliter, any more than what is true can be decided by simple formal logic, and so neither can one decide formaliter what is best objectively and what is practically required

^{1}.

Thus, thanks to Brentano, we know that the existence of a positive value X is itself a positive value, but we can never know which X has a positive value.

To sum up, formal axiology can either retain this "formal" character, in which case it will be incapable of resolving (or even posing) the problem of values, or we can try to deduce a content for the axiology from these formal axioms, but this seems impossible, since nothing in the axioms we have just seen can enable us to begin to identify the X whose existence would be positive, or whose value could be added to that of Y.

On the other hand, formal axiologies seek, in and through the act of epoché on which they are constituted, to escape all presupposition. This does not seem to be the case.

Thus, instead of trying to think of the possibility of an axiology as an autonomous discipline with its own specific method and concepts, formal axiologies are constituted according to the mathematical or **geometrical model** (or logic, for Husserl), based on a set of propositions deductively linked from axioms. Formal axiology, which nevertheless presents itself as free of suppositions, thus appears to be based on unfounded presuppositions, which can be summarised as follows:

1/ A value is something that can be multiplied, added or equalled with something else.

Formal axiology therefore presupposes a certain **definition of value**, which is not self-evident. If formal axiology wants to study the "empty form of value as such", then it is essentially based on a definition of value on which all these axioms are built. However, the definition of value in formal axiologies is dubious, based as it is on the presuppositions of the authors and their era; for example, Husserl considers axiology to be a practical discipline (we have tried to show the opposite). The definition of value as a practical concept is therefore not self-evident.

2/ The method to be used to solve the problem of values must be the deduction of propositions from axioms.

Once again, it is not obvious. The method that must underlie axiology, to determine the value of a thing, is perhaps quite different, and we can even imagine that it does not resemble any known method used in other disciplines. Perhaps axiology has its own unique method?

The formal axiology projects therefore seem to me to represent a particularly encouraging development in the theorisation of values, which breaks with any '**philosophy of values**' and consecrates the birth of axiology as a discipline. However, the birth of this discipline also means its disappearance, since it is emptied of all content at the very moment of its emergence. Only the form of this discipline, which is probably not the right one, is preserved, the derisory skeleton of a stillborn child.

It is an interesting paradox that axiology was originally constituted as a discipline by **abandoning** the very question of values.

Axiological objectivism in its various forms cannot therefore satisfy us. Whether it is based on methods that are not explicitly thematised (qualitative, empirical methods, etc.) or on more elaborate methods (such as intuitionism and formal axiology), it cannot provide an answer to the axiological problem.

The axiologist's reflex will probably be to reverse the approach: instead of looking for value in things, in the world, it might be more appropriate to "turn our gaze inwards" and look for value in ourselves, in the subject. This is axiological subjectivism, which I now propose to study.

1. Ibid, section I, §19