Wertapriori und Wertsein in der materialen Wertethik Max Schelers


The value a priori and value-being  in Max Scheler’s material ethics of value

Scheler called “material ethics of value” his own phenomenological ethics. Therefore, to clarify the concept of “value” is the most important step for a good understanding of his phenomenological material ethics of value. In the whole framework of the phenomenological movement, many phenomeno-ogists such as Husserl, Scheler, and N. Hartmann and so on developed their own ethics of value. But we can see the fundamental difference between Husserl’s or Hartmann’s ethics of value and Scheler’s one. The reason for this is that they prescribed “value” differently. In Scheler’s phenomenological material ethics of value, there are two basic formulations of value: the former is the value a priori as material a priori (more exactly, the relevant priori feeling), and the latter, the value being as a ultimately basic form of being (such a value-being is as basic as Dasein and Sosein, and by it, Scheler refuted Heidegger’s question on value being in advance). On the one hand, in contrast with Husserl, Scheler regarded value a priori as primal-phenomenon; On the other hand, unlike N. Hartmann, Scheler prescribed value-being as “the relative being of act”. In this sense, Scheler’s phenomenological material ethics of value is founded neither merely on the value a priori in the sense of thing-phenomenology, nor merely on emotional a priori in the sense of the act-phenomenology, but on a “material apriorism”. There are three kinds of a priori in such a “material apriorism”: value a priori, emotional a priori and the relevant a priori between fact and act.

Keywords: Scheler, value a priori, value-being, relative being of act, primal-phenomenon, being as it is

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