Axiology and Business Ethics
Businesspersons understand that there are many kinds of goodness in addition to moral goodness – good workers, good managers, good products, good services, good training, and good profits. But what does “good” mean? The best available answer was formulated by Robert S. Hartman (1910–1973), who created formal axiology. Axiology is value theory. This includes ethics, aesthetics, logic, and every discipline having ideal norms or standards. Formal axiology focuses on formal patterns of value and evaluation and then applies them to the concrete particulars of what we value (values) and how we value (evaluations). The headings below identify its main features, all highly relevant to the business world.
Formal Definitions of “Good,” “Better,” “Best,” and “Ought”
Formal axiology says that anything is “good” if...
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- Hartman RS (1991) Applications of the science of axiology. In: Edwards RB, Davis JW (eds) Forms of value and valuation: theory and applications. University Press of America, Lanham. Republished in 2014 by Wipf & Stock, Eugene, ORGoogle Scholar
- Hartman RS (2006) The hartman value profile (HVP) manual of interpretation, 2nd edn. The Robert S. Hartman Institute, KnoxvilleGoogle Scholar