Hartmann's axiology is intuitionist like that of Max Scheler and acknowledges ,like Scheler's a hierarchy of ideal values. The two also agree that the primary intuitive consciousness of axiotic traits is emotional. Values themselves are ideal entities entailing laws regarding what ought to be and what ought to be done. The requirements about what ought to be are more likely to come into prominence or exigence for the emotional sense of what is of value when real, temporal things are not (...) as they ought to be or when the way they ought to be is under threat. The human consciousness of time is able to enlarge the sense of what might be of positive value or of negative value, making possible that human beings function as agents, for it also gives rise to awareness of reliably repeatable sequences and of potential means for affecting the chances for such goods and evils. Agents have very limited but nevertheless creative and spontaneous ability to affect, to predetermine the course of events for better or for worse. With no such ability, with no power to predestine no temporal entity however automotive can be other than inert. Inertia, not immobility is spontaneity's opposite. It cannot be clearly conceived that a spontaneous and omnipotent entity, however sublime that may otherwise be thought, might co-exist with another spontaneous entity however severely limited. A moral agent whether a morally good or a morally evil one cannot be such a creature.Ni. (shrink)
Hartmann's way of conceiving what he terms "the actual ought-to-be [aktuales Seinsollen]" offers a fruitful approach to crucial issues in the phenomenology of action. The central issue to be dealt with concerns the description of the "constitution" of anticipated possibilities as projects for action. Such potentialities are termed "problematic possibilities" and are contrasted with "open possibilities" in most of the works published by Husserl as well as those published by Alfred Schutz. The description given by Alfred Schutz emphasized that the (...) projecting of possibilities is thoroughly conditioned by the agent's habitual beliefs and interests. Schutz, however left open the possibility that other factors might affect the projecting of courses of action and the choosing of one in preference to others. In particular, he left open the possibility that the agent come to take an interest in possibilities in which she had no prior interest. More recent interpretations of his position on this issue have left this possibility undiscussed or else excluded it altogether. The result has been that a sort of value nihilism (subjectivism, sociologism, lingualism, anthropologism, historicism, psychologism, etc.) came to prevail in the phenomenological description of actions. A quite parallel development occurred in interpretations of Heidegger's account of actions (of "explication [Auslegung]" in the vocabulary of Being and Time). Heidegger expressly and emphatically rejected most ways of conceiving values in discussing the forms of action (circumspection and assertion in the vocabulary of Sein und Zeit). it came quite generally to be assumed that he subscribed to some variation of nihilism regarding values despite his insistence in the "Letter on Humanism" that he meant no such thing. The literature on this subject has concentrated on Scheler's work to the complete exclusion of Hartmann's axiology — as happened in Parvis Ermad's Heidegger and the Phenomenology of Values, His Critique of Intentionality, foreword by Walter Biernel (Glen Ellyn, Illinois: Torey Press, 1981). Scheler's view entails the radical separation of ontic traits from axiotic traits, of what-is from what-ought-to-be. However, for Hartmann, the set of ontic traits that becomes actual when laws about what-ought-to-be are satisfied is identical with the set of traits that ought-to-be, Hartmann's way of conceiving the ought-to-be, the actual ought-to-be, and the three-fold structure of the finalistic nexus seems entirely compatible with Heidegger's way of thinking about actions. They are also an enlightening supplement to Schutz's description of "Choosing Among Projects of Action" (in Collected Papers 1, 67-96). That description requires that choice and action be thoroughly conditioned by psychological, social, and historical facts about the agent. However, nothing of this vital determination of actions is sacrificed when these concepts that are so central to Hartmann's "absolutism" with respect to values are introduced into the description. Their introduction provides an elaboration that Schutz himself neglected, perhaps due to pragmatic deference to biases which were prevalent then in the intellectual climate of philosophy and sociology in the U.S. Still, the transformation they bring is a significant improvement. It shows decisively that being conditioned linguistically, psychologically, socially, and historically does not enclose the choice among projects within a "Hermeneutical Circle" such as would exclude the possibility that agents be open to previously unfamiliar values. Hartmann's conception of the plurality as well as the absoluteness (or "objectivity") of primary goods allows, put in Kantian terms, that an agent may, however rarely, take an interest in possibilities such as she may never before have been interested in at all; or, put in Heideggerian terms, that she may come to care about possibilities such as have never concerned her before. (shrink)
INHALT: 1. DIE ANKLAGE GEGEN JOSEPH K. UNKENNTNIS DER NATÜRLICHEN SANKTION VON GESETZ UND SITTE a) Brentanos Auffassung vom Naturgesetz b) Natürliches Recht und menschliches Bedürfnis im »Protagoras« 2. RICHTIGE ENTSCHEIDUNG: BRENTANOS THEORIE DER ETHIK a. Der empirische Ursprung der Begriffe »gut« und »besser«: analoge Ableitung des Begriffes »wahr« b. Evidente und blinde Urteile: evidente und blinde Gefühle c. Tugend kann nicht gelehrt werden: der springende Punkt in K.s Prozeβ d. Schuld und wirkliche Freisprechung sind logisch vereinbar 3. K.S FALL (...) UNTER BERUFUNG: UNSCHULD KANN ERWORBEN WERDEN 4. K.S TÄUSCHUNG MIT BEZUG AUF SCHULD: DAS GLEICHNIS VOR DEM GESETZ . (shrink)
The most obvious cases of ego-involvement in conscious life are those which Husserl calls conscious acts or cogitationes. They are the most obvious cases because they are the ones in which the ego explicitly involves himself in some way ; they exhibit the character of being engaged in by the ego or having been engaged in by him. This ego-quality or character belongs demonstrably to every conscious process in which the ego engages or lives. In the ego's conscious life, the (...) life to which his, her, or its acts belong, there also occur mental or intentive processes in which the ego does not or did not engage, and these Husserl calls passive or non-actional processes as contrasted with the active or actional processes characterized by egoengagement. (shrink)
All of life is taking some position [Stellungnahme], and taking any position is under an obligation, the obligation to decide about validity or invalidity and to do so rightly and by norms claiming to be absolutely valid.
Kafka's work provoked more than three decades of interpretations before Wagenbach provided information showing that Kafka was quite familiar with the work of Brentano and his Prague followers, including their unique conceptions of natural law, ethical concepts, and human acquaintance with them. Kafka took a lively interest in discussions in this Prague circle, and The Trial may without violence be read as a deliberate illustration for issues in philosophy of law as they would have been understood within this circle. This (...) does not require that it be read as a reflection of Kafka's personality, nor does it require that he accepted Brentano's views. Wagenbach demonstrated Kafka's familiarity with unique conceptions, in the work of Brentano and his Prague followers, of natural law and ethics. Issues involved in these conceptions are cogently illustrated in The Trial. K. is tried for violating a law which is no positive law but a necessary condition for all positive law since all positive laws imply that they ought to be obeyed. Brentano adamantly rejected all forms of nativism. The opposite of 'natural' in the phrase 'natural law' is not 'acquired' but 'conventional.' Acquaintance with natural norms is entirely acquired: persons having no such acquaintance can exist; K. is such a person. Natural norms, have a cognizable inherent correctness; any other norms oblige only through being authoritatively decreed. Conventional guilt or innocence is subject to influence. K.'s quest for a person to exert such influence on his behalf is evidence of his guilt. K. is unaware that absolute guilt is possible. In the Prometheus myth related by Plato's Protagoras, a sense of justice and right is necessary for politically organized society. Without insight into the natural sanction for correct positive laws, citizens cannot fulfill the duty rationally to choose positive laws: citizens will wrong one another, cities perish, humankind will be threatened. The myth gives important clues to the imagery of the parable "Before the Law." Every authentic act of willing requires that something be desired for its own sake. Since there is a plurality of intrinsic goods, authentic action requires recognizing the chosen action to be better than its alternatives. Acquaintance with good, evil, better, and worse is acquired, Brentano insisted, only by perceiving certain affects to be correct. Like judgments, affects are either blind or evident. Basic moral concepts arise like all others from perception. K. could become innocent by acquiring the lacking concepts. Then, actual acquittal would be just despite his guilt when arrested. His trial tests whether he is likely to experience intrinsically correct emotions. Guilt would be objective, independent of any finding by the Court. K.'s guilt entails his lacking any such concept of absolute guilt. He is convinced that guilt depends entirely on the Court, is altogether a matter of authority. This is K.'s delusion concerning his relation to the Court and the Law, the delusion illustrated by the legend, "Before the Law.". (shrink)
Moral value as it was understood by Nicolai Hartmann and by Max Scheler belongs uniquely to volitions or willings, to dispositions to will and to persons as beings capable of willing. Moreover, as understood in this paper as well as by Hartmann, Scheler, and Husserl, every volition necessarily involves if not actual valuings then reference to retained valuings and potential valuings as well as to cognitive mental phenomena. As used here, the terms 'volition' and 'willing' denote mental traits, such as (...) lived experiences and habits insofar as they either do or can occur actively. A trait of a mind or "monad" can have moral value — in contrast to utility, for example — only (would belong) insofar as it is or can be or could have been engaged in and so performed by the person or ego to whose mind the trait belongs . The classification of lived experiences as voluntary or not voluntary cuts across the three-fold classification of mental processes as cognitive, affective, or conative. This seems to be the most appropriate way of distinguishing the voluntary from the involuntary. Voluntary mental phenomena are characterized by the engagement of the ego in some lived experience occurring in the flux of its lived experiences, i.e., by taking position. " within the text below by numbers. End notes are referred to within square brackets  linked to the notes and these link back to the text loci. Text printed in sepia has been emended. The brief passage in the text that occurs in angle brackets and in the same color as this introductory note has been added to state more pointedly an important issue>. (shrink)