The technological achievements of modern natural science are known to all. We live daily with the products of the scientific age: automobiles, airplanes, electricity, television, and plastics are just a few examples. The consequences of modern technology, however, are not all positive. For example, atomic energy is accompanied by the threat of annihilation. The Industrial Revolution, which made possible our standard of living, also delivered acid rain and other byproducts, which threaten to destroy our forests, and in turn, the very air we breathe.
The possibility of such natural holocausts is created by the lack of clarity and order in our inner world, the moral world. While physical nature has yielded to inquiring minds, the moral world of our times seems to be a virtual wasteland. We appear to be no further advanced in our ability to make moral decisions than our ancient ancestors. The result of moral disorder lies in the chaos of our inner cities, the crime which threatens the security of our societies, the deception of our governments at all levels, the wars between our nations, and the disintegration of family life, especially in western cultures.
Robert S. Hartman, the father of modern value science, axiology, observed that we "have made our world a paradox: artificial satellites whirl around us, yet deep within us we are frozen with the fear of a cosmic explosion." Having directly experienced the horrific results of moral decay in Nazi Germany, Dr. Hartman dedicated his life to the discovery of a science, which brings order to moral decisions.
Hartman, a German philosopher and scientist was born in Berlin on 27 January 1910 as Robert Schirokauer. He taught at Berlin University and served as an assistant District Court Judge but because of his vocal opposition to the Nazi Party, he was forced to flee Germany in 1932, with the Nazi takeover imminent, and changed his surname to Hartman.
1934–41 and still under surveillance from the Nazis, he worked as Walt Disney’s representative, first in Scandinavia and later in Mexico and Central America. In 1941, with his wife and son, he moved to the United States, where they all later became citizens. Hartman lectured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Latin America and Europe, where he held more than 50 lectureships, was a visiting professor at Yale University and a research professor of philosophy at both the National University of Mexico and the University of Tennessee.
Having experienced Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, through what he saw as the successful organisation of evil, Hartman dedicated his work to try to answer the fundamental question: ‘What is good?’
Mastering a number of languages and dialects, Dr. Hartman collected instances of the meaning of "good." He examined these instances to find out what was similar and different. He studied the theories and systems of value from Plato to our present day. He analyzed the natural sciences to understand what made possible scientific discovery in the natural world.
He wrestled with the answer to the question in such a way that good can be organised to help to preserve and enhance the value of human life. Axiology, the science of value, a theoretical area in which Hartman specialised, helped him to find the answer. Influenced by several moral philosophers, notably GE Moore, Hartman concluded: “A thing is good when it fulfills the intension of its concept.”
Hartman theorised that the primary difference between natural order and moral disorder lay in the mathematics which orders the natural world. His discovery that all value has scientific order based on transfinite mathematical sets, was comparable with those of Einstein, Galileo and Newton. In doing so, he identified the principles which order and structure not only our moral decisions, but all our value judgements.
Dr. Hartman's discovery has a multitude of applications in fields as far ranging as psychology, sociology, psychiatry, law, theology, political science, finance, and decision theory. Even though Dr. Hartman died in 1973, his work, both on a theoretical and practical level, has been pursued in the United States, Sweden, Germany, and Mexico. He laid the foundation for axiology, value science, and in so doing, began a revolution in thinking which is just beginning to emerge.
Extract from ‘Axiology: The Science of Value’. Copyright© 2002 - Axiometrics International, Inc.