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Axiology (from "Greek ἀξία, axia, "value, worth"; and -λογία, -logia) is the "philosophical study of "value. It is either the collective term for "ethics and "aesthetics[1], philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth, or the foundation for these fields, and thus similar to "value theory and "meta-ethics. The term was first used by Paul Lapie, in 1902,[2][3] and "Eduard von Hartmann, in 1908.[4][5]

Axiology studies mainly two kinds of values: "ethics and "aesthetics. Ethics investigates the concepts of "right" and "good" in individual and social conduct. Aesthetics studies the concepts of "beauty" and "harmony." Formal axiology, the attempt to lay out principles regarding value with "mathematical rigor, is exemplified by "Robert S. Hartman's "science of value.



Between the 5th and 6th century BC, it was important in Greece to be knowledgeable if you were to be successful. Philosophers began to recognize that differences existed between the laws and morality of society. "Socrates believed that knowledge had a vital connection to virtue, making morality and democracy closely intertwined. "Socrates' student, "Plato furthered the belief by establishing virtues which should be followed by all. With the fall of the government, values became individual, causing skeptic schools of thought to flourish, ultimately shaping a pagan philosophy that is thought to have influenced and shaped Christianity. During the medieval times, "Thomas Aquinas argued for a separation between natural and religious virtues. This concept led philosophers to distinguish between judgments based on fact and judgments based on values, creating division between science and philosophy.[6]

Issues in communication studies[edit]

Communication theorists seek to contribute to mutual intelligence about the anatomy and operation of human communication. The axiological issues that are significant for the evolution of communication theory are how researchers should best approach epistemological issues and whether the end for the administered research should be designed to expand knowledge or to change society. For communication theorists, a primary interest is with the philosophical establishment of the research approach. A continuing value debate occurs between scholars who take a post-positivist scientific approach and those who take an "interpretivist approach to communication development.[6]

Those who take a scientific approach believe that research should be theoretically driven, aiming to explain and predict empirical phenomena.[7] While social scientific researchers acknowledge their subjective world view, they are able to produce tentative and falsifiable theory rooted in empirical data.[8] Interpretivists agree that it is impossible for research to be completely free of personal values, as research is always biased towards the values of the researcher. According to interpretivists, these "biases are sometimes so entrenched in the researcher's culture that they will most likely go unnoticed during research. Since no one can truly be unbiased, interpretivists hold that some groups are more knowledgeable about certain things than other groups due to their positions in society, and they can be considered more qualified to perform research on certain topics as a result.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary Entry on Axiology.
  2. ^ Lapie, Paul (1902). Logique de la volonté. Paris: F. Alcan. 
  3. ^ "Axiology and aesthetics - article". 
  4. ^ von Hartmann, Eduard (1908). Grundriss der Axiologie. Hermann Haacke. 
  5. ^ Samuel L. Hart. Axiology—Theory of Values. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
  6. ^ a b c Arneson, P. (2009). Axiology. In S. Littlejohn, & K. Foss (Eds.), Encyclopedia of communication theory. (pp. 70-74). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  7. ^ Curd, Martin; Cover, J.; Popper, K. (1998). Philosophy of Science (2 ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton. 
  8. ^ Cartwright, N; Montuschi, E; Douglas, H (2014). Philosophy of social science: A new introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 162-182. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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