Saturday, April 14, 2012


I find myself loving the process of writing a dissertation. Tentatively, I am entitling my dissertation Scheler's Phenomenological Ontology of Value. It is a twofold task of problematizing the ontological indeterminacy about value that plagues the Formalism in Ethics, and at the same time analyzing Scheler's being-in-an-act in his other works to formulate an answer to the question of value ontology. Scheler's works are intriguing, and they highlight my own philosophical journey in some striking ways. Years ago, I applied to SIUC to attempt to articulate a moral phenomenology, but knew nothing of Scheler's works. I thought this would entail reading the C-Manuscript by Husserl, and write on intersubjectivity. I wanted to fuse my inclinations of non-naturalism found in Ross, Moore and Prichard to phenomenology. At Southern, I have been given complete freedom to pursue this task and probably more so given how pluralistic our department is. This involves partial journeys through Heidegger, Ayer, Stevenson and very possibly Hume and James (maybe Roderick Chisholm on realism since he translated Brentano's ethical work).

My dissertation develops an account of Scheler's phenomenology of value called ontological participatory realism. I have not yet formulated the position of OPR, but if I were to characterize tentatively now, I'd phrase it in the following way:

OPR: the ontology of value V is given insofar as person P participates properly through a loving orientation such that the P complies with axiological preferring inherent in the context in which V is given to P and P acts to realize higher forms of V based in a loving orientation.

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