Scheler on Feeling and Values

Abstract

Max Scheler argues that there is much to learn about reality through faculties that lie beyond the boundary of reason. In his Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values, Scheler explores values (Werte), awareness of which depends primarily on affective receptivity rather than rational perceptionof the world. This essay explores the possibility of affective insight in light of Scheler’s analysis of values. Scheler’s notion of values as moral facts is first examined, next consideration is given to how we learn of values, and then Scheler’s account of how the preference we feel for a given value yields insight into its relative rank is considered. In conclusion, I discuss some reasons for being wary of Scheler’s account, as well as other reasons for being open to it

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Jonathan J. Sanford
University of Dallas

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