Hierarchy of the main classes of values

The hierarchy of the main classes of values has been undertaken in classical axiology many times. One of the first to speak of it was E. von Hartmann (1895), who proposed the following series: pleasure – expediency – beauty – morality – religiosity, somewhat reminiscent of the hierarchy of goods in the Platonic “Filet”.

In the hierarchy of values, it is necessary to distinguish two orders, one of which regulates the relations in accordance with their essential carriers, the other – the value modalities proper. Essential carriers of values can be valuable “things”, which can be called benefits, and personality. But apart from them, the bearers of value are certain “acts” (cognition, love and hate, will), functions (hearing, sight, feeling, etc.), responses (joy over something, reactions to other people, and so on Etc.), spontaneous acts. The most important hierarchy – the value modalities themselves – is described in a sequence of four series:

  1. The value series of “pleasant” and “unpleasant.” They correspond to the level of essential carriers “sensual feeling” and its modes – pleasure and suffering, as well as “feelings of sensations” – sensual pleasure and pain;
  2. The totality of the values of the vital feeling. It’s about all the qualities that cover the opposite of “noble” and “low.” The values of the sphere of meanings of “well-being” and “welfare” also belong here. At the level of states, they correspond to all modes of the sense of life – “rise” and “recession”, health and illness, etc., in the form of response reactions – joy and sorrow, in the form of instinctive reactions – courage and fear, impulse of honor, anger and Get;
  3. Areas of spiritual values: “beautiful” and “ugly” and the whole range of purely aesthetic values; “Fair” and “unjust”, i.e. The realm of ethical values; The value of pure knowledge of truth, which seeks to realize philosophy (science, according to Schemer, is guided also by the goals of “domination over phenomena”). Derivatives of this whole series are the values of culture, which by their nature relate to the domain of goods, that is, Material values carriers (art treasures, scientific institutions, legislation, etc.). The states (correlates) of spiritual values – spiritual joy and sorrow, responses – disposition and disapproval, approval and disapproval, respect and disrespect, spiritual sympathy, supporting friendship, and some others;
  4. The highest value modality is the modality of the “holy” and “not holy.” Its main distinguishing feature is that it manifests itself only in those subjects which are in the intentions as “absolute objects”. In relation to this value modality, all other values are its symbols. As conditions, it corresponds to feelings of “bliss” and “despair,” specific responses – “faith” and “disbelief,” “awe,” “worship,” and similar ways of relationships. Unlike them, the act in which the values of the saint are initially conceived is an act of love. Therefore, the value of the individual will necessarily be an independent value in the sphere of the “saint”. The values of the sacred are the forms of worship that are given in the cult and the sacraments.