The Concept of Values
A Socio-phenomenological Approach

 ©A. Khoshkish
Published in: The Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol. VIII, No. 1,  1974

Escher Illusration

    Is there a set of absolute values – God-given, Krishna-given, Allah-given –  which should guide man's conduct and social behavior?  If so, which one?  Or are values meaningless, as Ayer has suggested? And if so, what does the word "value" stand for? To answer each of these questions to the satisfaction of either the normative or the non-cognitive school of thought will exclude the other position. Yet, dialectically speaking, the existence of one implies the existence of the other. Caught in the middle, the social scientist is often inclined to avoid the issue by confining himself within an oper­ational system. Values, as realities of social life, become structural in­gredients of such systems, but their nature is usually left undiscussed as beyond the confines of the system.[1]

    In the following pages a brief remedial attempt is made in two directions - on one hand through an incursion into the empirically elaborated theories of social systems, with an inquiry about the organic nature of their concepts of values (a scrutiny, in a way, of the link between the two components of Parsons' value-orientation pattern/action system constellation);[2] on the other hand by an excursion from within the social sciences context towards the metaethical normative and the positivist spheres. I am not so much trying to get involved in a philosophical debate, as to explore the possi­bilities of a synthesis which could hopefully throw some light on the conceit of values as social phenomena. My approach is "socio-phenomenological" in that I will examine "values-in-themselves," as realities of social experi­ence.  Of course, in both the phenomenological and the social sense, "values-in-themselves" cannot be dissociated from their existential reality.[3]  It is in this dual context that I will deal with them here.

I. Interests

    Man as an animal, and as a social animal, has certain patterns of behavior conducive to the fulfillment of his physiological, psychological, and sociological needs. For example, when he is hungry he needs to eat, when he is tired he needs rest, when he is confined he needs freedom, and when he is bondless he needs attachment. All along he has "needs." And these needs are flexible, retractable, and expandable. The Yogi of India can live on an almond a day, while the Western man reaches for the moon. Within these broad limits some needs may seem more justifiable than others. Caught in a blizzard, a man will need a shelter lest he not survive. That need is imperative, while the desire of the owner of a comfortable suburban house to upgrade his dwelling into a mansion may be considered dispensable.

    You may have noticed the word "need" in one case and "desire" in the other. Although the two terms are often interchangeably used, in a spectrum of wants ranging from imperative necessities to trivial frivolities, we may call our longing for the former a need, and our longing for the latter a desire. There is, of course, no clear-cut dichotomy; and one term turns into the other depending on the social context in which it is used. For example, the desire of the man to replace his suburban home with a mansion may be classified as a need by many people. If he has been promoted to the presidency of an important firm, he may have to reside in a mansion to fulfill the social obligations attached to his position. As it is in the interest of the man caught in a blizzard to find shelter, so is it in the interest of our executive and his firm to acquire a mansion. These interests provide functional spheres making life and social life possible. When we talk about "self-interest" or "national interest," we are referring to functional spheres believed expedient for survival. I was tempted to say "well-being" instead of "survival," for it is not a question of mere existence, but the quality of it. In Aristotelian terms, the state did not come about only for the sake of life, but for the sake of the good life.[4]  The concept of good is, of course, in itself relative; but man claims the faculty of choice, and that implies a scale of preferences.

    Although we have elaborated no hierarchy of preferences so far, we have implied an order of importance in which the immediate needs for survival, such as food and shelter, seem to precede other needs. The statement is obviously elementary. We know that, for example, through the intervention of his intricate organism, man, like some other animals, may renounce his food or his rest in the face of danger. In fact, the history of mankind is filled with instances, like that of the Japanese Kamikaze, where men have thrown their very lives onto scales where conservation did not weigh the heavier. The loci of security and conservation are at times displaced from individual security and conservation to preservation of the group, nation, empire, fatherland, principles, religion, or whatever the cause of the sacrifice. Faced with the choice, man may prefer to die rather than renounce his country, creed or ideology. The proposition is, of course, extreme. But as long as the ultimate is not present, many will pretend to believe in sacrifices they really would not be prepared to make. Nevertheless, man is faced with choices, and in choosing he simultaneously conforms with and participates in the elaboration of a scale of preferences in which his very being, although certainly essential, may not always occupy the first place.

If that is so, then is it that life and what is good for it are not the key to the secret of man's preferential scale?

II. Problems of Interest-Value Dichotomy

    To answer the question we may start by trying to detect differences in the nature of the situations we have so far illustrated. We may notice, for example, that what was described as the interest of the newly elected president of the firm to upgrade his domicile could, in the appropriate group context, correspond to certain "functional" dimensions of social relations. On the other hand, it would be difficult to explain the functionality of an individual's or a group's sacrifice of its well-being and even its very existence for the defense of an ideal. Such behavior does not seem to emanate from material and functional motivations. It is non-rational and affectional in nature. Although abstract, it does overlap and compete with the concrete and material phenomena we have termed interests. In the scale of preferences, it constitutes values as distinct from valuables. When the believer donates his fortune to his church, he parts with his valuables for his values. Without any attempt at a watertight compartmentation, we may reasonably propose that while interests are formulated more on the basis of functional-rational considerations, values appear to pertain to the affectional-non-material dimensions of human behavior. The distinction should be applied with caution, as interests and values merge into each other and, as we shall see later, generate and justify one another.[5]

    The concrete-abstract dichotomy between values and interests has received different degrees of emphasis by different scholars. Fallding distinguishes between value, which is the "generalized end that guides behavior toward uniformity," and interest, which is sporadic.[6]  Van Dyke treats them more or less as synonymous.[7]  Still others, Easton for example,[8] have contained the concrete-abstract dichotomy within the different connotations they have given, in different contexts, to the term "value."

Some studies treat values simply as part of a means-end relationship. Lasswell and Kaplan distinguish between two sets of values: welfare values, those which are for the benefit of the individual (such as health, wealth, and enlightenment); and deference values, those which imply interpersonal position relationships (such as power, respect, and affection[9]). In this classification values may constitute goals in themselves, or instruments to attain other values which then become goals. Lasswell and Kaplan are concerned with values as of the moment when they become perspectives and instruments in the context of power,[10] and circumscribe the definition of value to fit that framework.[11]

    Some philosophical schools have reduced the study of values to the verifiable facts approach of logical positivism. Values do not represent facts and therefore the philosopher can proceed to declare them, as Ayer has done, non-sensical.[12]  And legal positivists, like Kelsen in his Pure Theory of Law, present us with a value-free concept of law basing its validity on a system of norms.[13]  Kelsen does not deny the existence of intangible, abstract values, but considers that they lie beyond the purview of scientific inquiry.

A phenomenological examination cannot be limited to classifying values into the perspectives and instruments of power and politics; we must dare to penetrate that hazy, intangible realm which values inhabit. The inquiry into abstract values may prove profitable by revealing similarities with those more concrete values that are instrumental in the power complex. Such a possibility may permit us to close the gap between values and interests. However, our concern here is not so much to discuss the meta­ethical dimension of values, but to scrutinize values as social phenomena. We wish simply to ponder the what, the why, and the how of values. It is in this frame of thought that our earlier discussion of the interest-value dichotomy and the following treatment of their insularity are elaborated.

    In different schools of thought, the term "value" has been used with connotations covering practically the whole spectrum from material inter­ests to sublime values. At the "interests" end of the spectrum, where we speak of the ontological, functional, factual, descriptive approach - the idea of interest as goods - the term "value" (the valuable) is used in the material sense. It covers physical, mathematical, and even social scientific quantification, such as the Marxian treatment of surplus value. Along the spectrum we touch on the teleological and utilitarian idea of good as that defining the desirable end, in the material sense of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, but with implications of qualitative values of happiness. Finally, at the other end of the spectrum we encounter the "higher" level of values, which, in their full moral and ethical connotation, may refer to deontological or affectional imperatives defining an idea of good which is good in itself, beyond matter and man, and towards which man should strive. We cannot, of course, extend our use of the concept of value so broadly as to cover all these connotations without getting involved in apparent philosophical contradictions. If, however, we conduct our study at the level of social phenomenology rather than metaethical inquiry, we may avoid the contradictory levels of different arguments and hopefully bring them around to some common ground.

    Through the various philosophical approaches seems to run a thread which makes their treatment of values meaningful for our purposes. For example, even at the material level, where values are interpreted as "goods," their conversion into property gives them a social valuational dimension which we may retain for our discussion. Thus Locke goes all the way back to Adam to give his concept of property religious and moral justification,[14] putting it on a par with the right to life and liberty. Similarly, the concept of utilitarians like Mill[15] of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure is not built on the simple premises of satisfying primitive desires, but on the enjoyment of virtues and the general collective happiness. This concept provides a social valuational standard beyond individual interests, em­bracing virtue and religious morals.

    At the level of philosophical treatment of good-in-itself and intrinsic values we can find premises equally conducive to a valuational dimension of social significance. Thus Moore, whose search for "good in itself" bore the fruit of his famous naturalistic fallacy, denying metaethical naturalism's claim to goodness in the nature of things, notably in pleasure as advanced by the utilitarians, does nevertheless recognize that:

The tendency to preserve and propagate life and the desire of property, seem to be so universal and so strong, that it would be impossible to remove them; and, this being so, we can say that under any conditions which could actually be given, the general observance of these rules would be good as a means .... On any view commonly taken, it seems certain that the preservation of civilized society, which these rules are necessary to effect, is necessary for the existence, in any great degree, of anything which may be held to be good in itself.[16]

    Here again Moore provides us with a social valuational dimension. It is this dimension, whether it is converted from material "goods" or the ethical "good," that we want to examine.


Figure 1

III. Problems of Interest-Value Insularity

    Our earlier distinction between interests and values concerned the degree of their finitude. An interest can be identified, formulated, striven for, attained, and finally consummated. Once the object of interest is procured, the goal is attained and the end is reached. While other similar interests may arise in time for the same individual, they will all be different and separably definable in means-ends terms. But values like love, patriotism, and piety, are not ends attainable once and for all. Values that imply finite ends eventually fall into the functional category and are therefore closer to interests. A value must continuously be affirmed. An act of faith, for example, does not absolve the actor of his faith, but merely manifests the belief that lies beyond and that continues even after the act is over. The goal is beyond the act, and because of the very act, beyond the actors. In contrast to the functionally definable interests, values lie in the affectional sphere. They are values because they can only be approximated functionally. If they were attained, if they were consummated, they would cease to be values. In the words of Sartre, "Value is always and everywhere the beyond of all surpassings."[17]  The ultimate effort of man in the sphere of his value is to be consumed towards its attainment, as were the Christians facing the lions in Rome, the burning Buddhist monks in Saigon, and the Kamikazes.

    Different natures and dimensions of interest-value relationships can fit our model. For example, speaking of commercial profit as an interest, fair play and honesty as values, and wealth as a goal; or of defense, patriotism, and glory as interest, value, and goal respectively, we may visualize our model as follows:

Figure 2

    Man's behavior, then is motivated by a pattern of interacting and intermingling functional material interests and affectional transcendental values. Some interests are more directly goal-oriented and value-free, while others, in an increasingly transcendental scale, are polarized and value-laden. As observed earlier, the gradation from functionally goal-oriented interests to transcendental values does not necessarily parallel the gradation from man's physiological needs for survival to his metaphysical sublimations. The very goal-directed physiological needs may themselves be conditioned by values. Between the appeal to a prostitute for satisfaction of the sexual drive, a functional extreme, and the romantic love which may culminate in sacrifice, there is a wide spectrum of interest-value combinations. Not only are these patterns not identical for different individuals, but they may be different for the same individual under different circumstances.

    How do these patterns of behavior come about? To answer this it may be helpful to shift our focus to the "social" part of the "social animal." The group as the unit of identification needs to set a pattern of behavior for its members in order to secure its cohesion. The togetherness of the group under given conditions presupposes already the existence of a group pattern of behavior. But both that pattern and the togetherness may be caused by the given conditions which may be external to the group. For the group to secure its continuity despite the given conditions and not because of them, the pattern of social behavior of its components should be instilled (ingrained) in them. The wider and profounder the bases of communication and communion, the more stable and long-lasting will the group members' sense of belonging be. But what is the content of communications, and what fills communion?

    The survival of the group, the security of its existence, and its interests in the material and functional sense depend on the conviction of its members as to the validity of the group itself. This validity must be more than the sum total of the private material and functional interests of the components of the group. Without such a transcendent validity, there would be no sense in risking one's life as a patriotic soldier on the front.

The pattern of behavior is enveloped in a sense of "oughtness," making conflicting interests reconcilable and giving the individual a sense of values.[18]  To create this sense of values, in its process of socialization the group appeals to certain ingredients of human nature, and matches certain affectional dimensions and transcendental feelings - values -with functional premises that provide for material interests. For example, paternal love provides heritage, faith maintains the church, and patriotism secures the existence of the state.

    Appeal is made to man's non-rational and affectional inclinations to reinforce and coordinate the interests which are functional from the point of view of group rationale, but which may not always directly coincide with the individual rationales of its members. When a man is hungry, he wants to eat, and he must eat to survive. But if he belongs to a primeval superstitious group, and the available food is a totem animal, and he eats it, he may go into convulsions and die a voodoo death.[19]  In this extreme example the organism responds to the supernatural value more intensely than to the material interest. The values of the group act on the group member as stimuli and go through his organism, which processes them before responding. The more the value is straightforward and recognizable as a value, and its impact regulated and controlled, the less will the organism be confused in its response. The efficacy of the value will depend on how well the organism has been conditioned to give the desired response to it.

    The voodoo death is the extreme of such conditioning, but it helps us demonstrate rather dramatically the vast gap that can exist between values and interests. The taboo on sacred food emphasizes the value that safe­guards the group's structure. But groups are not amorphous, and in the last analysis, their interests and structures should reflect the interests of their members. In the words of Latham, "Groups exist for the individuals who belong to them, by his membership in them the individual fulfills personal values and felt needs."[20]  If certain values instilled in group mem­bers can be detrimental to their interest in physiological survival and security of livelihood, then they must correspond to some other drives of the individual members. If order and justice are prerequisites for the continuity of the group, it is because they are manifestations of man's inner need for predictability. If for cohesiveness the group develops a sense of identity and communion among its members, it is because it can appeal to man's psychological need for contact comfort and belonging. And if the supernatural belief can bring about a voodoo death, it is that there exists within man a drive to search and fear the unknown. Thus, despite the gap between them, both values and interests are phenomena relating to the reality of man and his basic needs and drives.

    If man's drives are the raw material for both his values and interests, then their common origin may imply an organic relationship between the two. What kind of organic relationship can that be?

IV. Interest-Orienting Properties of Values

    Man's drives and the search for their proper sources of satisfaction are generated by his consciousness of lacks, whether of food, attachment, or eternity. As we saw earlier, an interest is the formulation of a want and the move towards filling the lacuna. But if the move is haphazard, different interests may - and in a social context are bound to - come into conflict, jeopardizing the social pattern conducive to the satisfaction of the drives. The passage from interests to goals will therefore need some sort of orien­tation, like the molecular magnets in a steel bar which are randomly oriented when unmagnetized, but which line up parallel from one pole to another after magnetization:

Figure 3

    Values provide the field for this orientation of interests. But as molecular magnets are the same before and after magnetization, except for their charge and their direction in the magnetic field, so are interests before and after orientation, except that some have been sublimated by values. What we said earlier about the appeal that is made to the non-rational, affectional dimensions of man to direct the rational and functional should be com­pleted by the statement that the appeal is not the point of departure of a relationship between two properties otherwise foreign to each other. There is no such abstract, independent value as patriotism and another totally separate entity as a fatherland; rather the two are coupled to create an interest-value constellation which gives meaning to man's need for terri­torial belonging. The organic relationship between the affectional and its corresponding functional - the value that orients the interest - is causal. Interests and values grow on and into each other. We are thus closing the gap between values and interests, but not to the extent pure interest theories do. Values and interests are not totally identical. To say that they are identical is like saying that flashlight beams and laser beams are the same because both are the propagation of light by photons, ignoring the pro­portionality of their energy and frequency. Transferring our simple meta­phor, we may say that values are the conversion of interests beyond apparent recognition. Like the laser and the flashlight, values and interests are similar up to a certain point of frequency, intensity, and concentration, but beyond that, the phenomenon reveals different impacts and conse­quences. Liking and wanting become loving - the extrapolation of the ego. The interest in security and survival becomes patriotic sacrifice.

    We used the analogy of a magnetic field to explain the orienting directing characteristics of values, and we used the intensity and frequency of laser photons to illustrate their impact and penetration. In physical terms, the process of the projection of photons in a laser is distinct from the magnetic phenomenon. Yet the visualization of a value system as providing a "magnetic" field to orient interest-goal movements and thereby create a forward impetus is not necessarily contradictory for our purposes. Let us, in our first analogy of the magnetic field, conceptualize a magnetic flow between a pole and an opposite outside pole, such as a compass needle and the magnetic field of the earth:

Figure 4

    We may then visualize the value-interest constellation, in the process of providing an orientation within a closed magnetic field, accelerating and projecting the motivational flow of some towards a point beyond the closed circuit, comparable to the flow of photons in a laser:

This flow, which we explained earlier as the consummation towards the attainment of the value, can be appropriately illustrated by the photons which on reaching their target are annihilated and become energy.

Drawing further from our laser analogy, when man's behavior is strictly controlled and directed with intensity within a field of values, he is capable of deeds and behavior otherwise beyond the common realm of human achievement, such as the sacrifice of the Kamikaze or the early Christian or Moslem believer. Like the laser, in the process of orientation and intensification, values narrow their field and isolate the subject from his surroundings. But our illustration does not follow the metaphor to the end, because, unlike the laser, the consequences of valuational rigidity may, for example, turn faith into fanaticism and fanaticism into superstition, thus reducing the efficacy and penetrating properties of values and increasing the group's vulnerability.

The examples of intense value orientations so far mentioned have been chosen because of their social and political relevance. There are, of course, other instances, such as conscious concentration in value orientation, which also lead to uncommon achievements. We now have scientific proof that at a high level of religious meditation, man can transcend toward the sublime in consciousness. Recent experiments by the application of the electroencephalograph on Zen and Yogi meditators have shown the possibilities of controlled alpha waves in the brain and consequent attainment of peaceful plenitude. Discussion of such dimensions is beyond the purview of this paper, but just consider their possible future political implications as alternatives to Orwell's 1984.

V. Interest-Justifying Properties of Values

    Our discussion of the need for a field to regulate the passage from drives to satisfaction within the group implied the likelihood of clash between different interests in the absence of a value field. The Hobbesian state of nature would tremendously reduce the chance for drives to receive satisfaction. Without the field of values, the eventuality of filling the lacuna would be scarce, whether the basic material for fulfillment was abundant or not. Maybe we should emphasize that the idea of a lack does not necessarily refer to an absence, but rather to the consciousness of its possibility. It is not, therefore, so much the intrinsic abundance or scarcity of a supply, but man's subjective want and consciousness of that want that provide grounds for the formulation of interests, elaboration of their orderly orientation, and their sublimation into values. Man's subjective perception of a want, independent of the abundance or scarcity of its supply, implies that a lacuna can be produced, displaced, magnified or reduced by the intervention of values.

    As before, we use the concept of lack and scarcity globally: it may refer to a physiological lack such as water or food, or to man's longing for immortality. The orienting properties of values suggest an influence over the formulation of interests. The orderly orientation provided by values will, of course, bring about control over the hypothetical loose and direct passage from wants to satisfactions which may have existed in the state of nature. It provides a field which, in the social context, regulates the passage of drives towards the filling of the lacuna. But if you look at the position of the arrows in Figure 3(b), you will notice that in the field provided by values, both wants and the direction of their fulfillment are modified from their original state of nature position as shown in Figure 3(a). That is why in Figure 2, which was originally inspired by the concept of the magnetic field, we placed needs and goals as we did - at a lag.

    The social unit, the individual (illustrated by arrows representing the molecular magnet in Figures 3(a) and (b) and 6) might have been only a

Figure 6

short distance from the satisfaction factor for a given need in the state of nature - with a small chance of getting it, to be sure, but at a short distance nevertheless. Once in the field provided by values, he may have to go through a whole social process without necessarily touching on what could have been the original source of his satisfaction, which, as our illustration suggests, may lie aside from the path which his values provide for his behavior.

    Of course, the stronger the field created by the value system in its orienting properties, the more irrelevant our statement about modification of interests and goals. When the field created by values is not strong enough, the subject, feeling the pull of his original drives and goals, may have inclinations to deviate in order to satisfy them in a value-free, state of nature way. But as the draw of the value field grows in intensity, it overshadows the original drive, which will then have to be taken less and less into account. The lacks that the individual seeks to fill in the social context cannot always be satisfied by nearby sources. Man has sexual drives, for example, but the incest taboo makes his progeniture inaccessible to him. A supply may be intrinsically abundant, but may be made scarce and its attainment subject to certain values in order to regulate its social distribution and to create motivations beneficial for group interests within the members of the group.

    Values will obviously also influence those areas where the supply is intrinsically scarce. There, the orientation provided by values is even more crucial, since there is not enough for everybody. The value system must orient interests towards their goals so as to explain and justify the multiple standards which will permit the attainment of certain goals by some and not by others. The value system has to supply comfort and compensation for those interests which have been allotted lesser satisfactions. There again, depending on the impact of the value system, we have to qualify our statement about the scarcity of the resources which do not provide enough for everybody, because if the value orientation reaches a certain point of intensity, our statement becomes irrelevant. The ideal situation can be hypothesized as one where the value system is so well adapted to the social pattern that each interest will flow towards its own goal orientation and will find its difference from others justified. It is when a value system leaves loose ends that the feeling of uneven apportionments becomes acute and threatening, for it thus creates frustrations and unfulfillable expectations, reducing its effectiveness for the cohesion of the group.

    A value system, then, may be said to be a framework within which differentiations can find their justification. The differentiations in turn, if the value system is efficient, provide the scale required for justifying discrepancies and setting standards. In other words, not only does the value system orient, adjust, and explain the place and domain of different interests, their title to different resources, and the conditions for the attainment of certain goals, but it is in itself the system of those standards. The revelations of the eternal, the Vedic caste system, and the mercantile doctrine serve their social functions through their value charges. By converting the functional into the affectional, values justify interests and their discrepancies and attenuate their conflicts. (By the same token, conflicting values enhance interest conflicts.) Interests in general, and sometimes some of them in particular, promote values. Of course, not all interests are value-laden. The difference between values and interests resides in their intensity and the possibility of their attainment. Values are more intense and less negotiable. Interests compromise and negotiate on their way towards their ends.

    The interrelatedness of values and interests becomes apparent when conflicting interests find it time to compromise, while values justifying them lag behind. In such cases the mechanism is set to modify, reshape, water down, and disregard the values, or to reinterpret and re-explain them in the light of other superior values. Societies imbued with principles of free enterprise, for instance, have resorted to government control of the economy, such as anti-trust laws, to ward off crises inherent in their system of values, while regimes based on Communist ideals have adopted methods of liberal economy. On the international level, those who had fought Fascism a few years earlier accommodated Fascist Franco in the face of the superior Communist threat of the Soviet Union, which itself was transformed later into a negotiating partner and turned away from its former ally, China, accused of and accusing misinterpretation of Communist values. The latter, after twenty-five years of being an outcast of American moral standards, was visited by the President of the United States. The list is endless, as it is the very history of mankind.

VI. Metaphysical and Material Variations of Values

    While the evolution and the transformation of values comprise the history of mankind, they are not obvious processes of everyday life; otherwise the dichotomy between values and interests would become hardly distinguishable. Values, in their intensity and irreductibility are latent to change. That is why interests are turned into values for their mainstay. However, the mobility of the modern world, enhancing rapid changes, develops variegated value structures and attenuates some of the transcendency, intensity, irreductibility, and therefore latency of values. In a way, the dwindling of values in the modern society, which provides greater material possibilities for diversified interests, reduces the gap between values and interests. This, to some extent, explains the interchangeable use of the two terms by modern philosophy and social science. But the modern world is only a fraction of the world, and much of what goes on in the transitional and traditional societies, which are far from attaining the economic standards to satisfy their material interests, cannot be understood without the concept of values as discussed in the last pages. Besides, even the modern world is facing a crisis of values.[21] By confounding values and interests, the modern man empties his beyond of its substance. Yet values, besides justifying social and material interests, are dimensions of human needs in themselves: If there were no God, man would have created one.

    The question arises as to whether there is a correlation between the material development of a society and the nature of its values. In a primeval subsistence economy, as Redfield says, "Gaining a livelihood takes support from religion, and the relations of men to men are justified in the conception held of the supernatural world or in some other aspect of the culture."[22]  In more complex societies, appeals to salvationist religions are made more by the deprived groups whose unfavorable material conditions in this world are made bearable by the promises of compensation in the other world.[23]

    When material conditions become favorable and provide for good living, the focus of attention turns from the beyond to within. The apogees of Greek, Persian, Roman, Chinese and Indian cultures had material traits similar to modern Western civilization. However, they differed from modern Western civilization in that their material abundance often turned the appeal to the supernatural for livelihood into superstitious rituals. In other words, material abundance alone does not reduce the supernatural values to materialistic ideologies. For that a dimension of empirical scientific inquiry is needed.

    The modern Western culture turned to scientific materialism with the decline of natural law doctrine and the age of enlightenment. Together with the fruits of the industrial revolution, progress, and the ideals of social justice, material well-being (the good life) became the ultimate goal. Life was worth living and became a value in itself. And the value polarization of interests on the way to their goals was conducted within a comparatively closed circuit, of which the sanctity of human life and being was the approximation rather than consummation for the beyond. It is in this context that objective relativism deals with values. But the man who, striving for power and deference, rationalizes and wraps his drive in his great concern for public interest[24] may himself become wrapped up in his own rationalization, a process which lays grounds for modern values: ideas, ideals, and ideologies. This is the process which produces public figures like Jefferson, Robert Owen, Sun Yat-Sen, and Gandhi, who subordinated their own power position to their dedication to their cause.

    Despite the relatively closed curve of their value-interest constellation, even the modern scientific, empirical, and material contexts do then provide value-building processes. We may, therefore, conclude that values are phenomena of man's reality of existence and life experience in their own right; and that whatever the process, whether through the supernatural idea of the holy or the ideological rationalization for the righteousness of a cause, values provide for the fulfillment of man's affectional and nonrational dimensions. Through values man makes sense of himself and of his environment. Psychology and social psychology have even provided us with means to diagnose value deficiencies. Durkheim called the symptom anomie.

[1] This is an abridged version of a paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Chicago, 1971.

[2] Talcott Parsons, The Social System (Glencoe, Ill., 1951). The reader will notice the constant implication of Parsons' theories in this paper. For the sake of brevity, I have avoided footnoting the numerous references which would have become cumbersome.

[3] The term "phenomenology" has received a broad usage - from the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl to existential phenomenology of Sartre in philosophy, the biological phenomenology of Uexküll, the cultural phenomenology of Cassirer and the social phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and Schutz. Here we are employing the term to emphasize the human reality of values and hence their social reality. See notably our later Sartrian-inspired treatment of value as that which is "beyond all surpassings" and "the lacked."

[4] Aristotle, Politics, Ch. V.

[5] See, for example, Clyde Kluckhohn and others, "Value and Value Orientation in the Theory of Action," in Talcott Parsons and Edward A. Shils, Toward a General Theory of Action (Cambridge, Mass., 1951), pp. 388-433, where a distinction is made between the desired and the desirable, with value being the explicit or implicit conception of the latter, p. 395.

[6] Harold Fallding, "Empirical Study of Values," American Sociological Review, 30 (April, 1965), pp. 223-233.

[7] Vernon Van Dyke, "Values and Interests," in APSR, 56 (Sept., 1962), pp. 567-576, also his International Politics (New York, 1966), p. 8.

[8] When Easton suggests that "political science be described as the study of the authoritative allocation of values for a society" he refers to "certain things" that "are denied to some people and made accessible to others." (The Political System, New York, 1953, pp. 129-130. My italics.) The "values" he is talking about here are "things." They are different from the concept he adopts later in another context where he says, "Values are expressions of our preferences and essentially dissimilar to factual aspects of propositions." (The Political System, p. 222.) They differ also from the "regime values" with which he identifies ideologies, doctrines, and social philosophies underlying political practices. (A Systems Analysis of Political Life, New York, 1965, pp. 194 ff.)

[9] Harold D. Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan, Power and Society, (New Haven, 1950), notably pp. 55-56.

[10] The treatment of religion and mention of its relevance to political order in a footnote is indicative of this approach. Lasswell and Kaplan, p. 194.

[11] Lasswell and Kaplan, Introduction, pp. ix-xxiv. On the question of means-end limitations of values, see also Gunnar Myrdal, Values in Social Theory, ed. Paul Streeten (Evanston, 1958), Ch. X.

[12] For a representative exposition of this approach, see Alfred Jules Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (New York, 1946), notably Ch. VI, pp. 102-119, and also pp. 20-22 of his Introduction, where he defends his approach. See also his somewhat modified approach in "Man as a subject for Science," in Peter Laslett and W. G. Runciman, eds., Philosophy, Politics and Society (New York, 1967), pp. 6-24.

[13] Hans Kelsen, Pure Theory of Law, trans. Max Knight (Berkeley, 1967).

[14] John Locke, Treatise of Civil Government, Ch. V.

[15] See John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, Ch. II; also Ch. V.

[16] George Edward Moore, Principia Ethica (Cambridge, 1903), pp. 157-158.

[17] P. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel E. Barnes (New York, 1966), p. 144.

[18] See Ralph Barton Perry, The Moral Economy (New York, 1937), pp. 9-16. See also his General Theory of Value (London, 1926); Fritz Heider, The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations (New York, 1958), pp. 225-229; S. C. Pepper, The Sources of Value (Berkeley, 1958). Pepper makes a critical analysis of Perry's General Theory of Values in Ch. 9.

[19] See, for example, W. B. Cannon, "Voodoo Death," in American Anthropologist, 44 (1942), p. 169; C. P. Richter, "On the Phenomenon of Sudden Death in Animals and Man," in Psychosomatic Medicine, 19 (1957), pp. 191-198: and Robert A. LeVine, "The Internalization of Political Values in Stateless Societies," in Human Organization, 14 (1960), pp. 51-58.

[20] Earl Latham, "The Group Basis of Politics: Notes for a Theory," American Political Science Review, 46 (1952).

[21] For some empirical data, see Clyde Kluckhohn, "Have There Been Discernible Shifts in American Values During the Past Generation,?" in Elting E. Morison, ed., The American Style: Essays in Value and Performance (New York, 1958), pp. 145-217.

[22] Robert Redfield, "The Folk Society," American Journal of Sociology, January, 1947, pp. 293-308.

[23] B. Berelson and G. A. Steiner, Human Behavior (New York, 1964), p. 394.

[24] Harold Lasswell, Power and Personality (New York, 1948), pp. 21-38.