link: values

                     HUMAN VALUES AS 'GUIDING VALUES' (operative values) DISTINCT FROM VALUE JUDGEMENTS (conceived values) 

theme: There are no values outside of human existence. Human values are values for living or 'operative values. Consequently the analysis of the human value life is a problem for biology i.e. 'moral science'.

 "Values are rooted in the very conditions of human existence; hence our knowledge of these conditions, that is, of the 'human situation', leads us to estabishing values which have objective validity; this validity exists only with regard to the existence of man; outside of him there are no values." (Erich Fromm Values, Psychology, and Human Existence in Maslow A.H. (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper, 1959)

What values are not... values are not values when they are objects of judgement... 'value judgements' or 'conceived values'. In the philosophical analysis of the human value life, there is often confusion between 'values' as 'true values' and values as 'value judgements'. Values are not the same as value judgements. Value judgements are values attached to subjective judgements which are made from of the perspective of self-centeredness or 'egoism'. Value judgements are based on a subjective and often egoistic and therefore judgemental thought process. Value judgements involve decisions about whether something is 'right or wrong', 'good or bad' and so on. The subjective criteria for right/wrong, good/bad are ultimately derived from the meaning attached to human existence - the 'cultural context' and its corresponding 'system of ethics'. According to the ethical system of 'humanism' the affirmation of life and the unfolding of human powers is 'good'; the denigration of life and the represssion of growth is 'bad'; the sense of responsibility toward human existence and excellence of human achievement is the source of 'virtue'; the sense of irresponsibility toward human existence is the source of 'vice'.  'Good' 'bad' 'virtue' and 'vice' are value judgements. Human values which are conceived in terms of human attributes are value judgements or 'conceived values'.

A value is a true value only when it is not an object of judgement and is not attributed with objective validity. If the true value 'goodness' is made into a value judgement 'goodness is good' then the value of goodness is lost. True values are free from the perspective of egoistic judgement. They are perceived from the higher level of ego-transcendant consciousness i.e. 'ego-transcendance'.  Human values are 'humanly valuable' or 'divine' in the depths of the unconscious where they are free from judgement. In this sense the 'human values' and the 'divine values' are the same. Lao-tze of Mahatyana Buddhism expressed it thus: "The good is just so and values are just-so-ness or 'tao'. And tao is nameless".

 Human values which are conceived in terms of human attributes are value judgements or 'conceived values'.

 "A value is valueless when it is not subjectively free from an egoistic impulse... In terms of Taoism, or Mahayana Buddhism, the value is a value when it is a no-value. Psychologically when all the values are shut up in the depths of the the unconscious or in the limbo of oblivion, we have the values in their genuine form. Lao-tze says that what can be designated as this or that is not Tao. Tao is nameless. Every moment you say , "it is good" the good loses its goodness. The really good is just so, and no more no less. The good is just-so-ness. So with the rest of human values...The human and the divine are one, for what is humanly valuable is so only because it is divine." (Daisetz Teitoro Suzuki 'Human Values in Zen' Maslow A.H. (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper Brothers 1959 p 95)

Knowledge of value ('moral science') depends on knowledge of human nature The human species or 'homo sapiens' is a social species which depends for adaptation and survival on social cooperation as ... connectedness between individuals... human solidarity possible with social values i.e. 'spiritual values' or 'spiritual needs'. Spiritual needs are the i.e. 'growth needs of being' or 'Being-needs'.... such as unconditional spiritual love or 'agape'. As spiritual needs for growth, the spiritual values are of survival value to the human organism and have a biological basis. As biological needs the spiritual values constitute the 'spiritual equipment' which evolved with the evolution of the human species. Human evolution is a function of the natural selection for human social values i.e. 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence is a function of the fulfillment of human needs for psychological or 'spiritual growth'. Spiritual growth is a function of 'moral development' or 'morality'. Morality is defined in terms of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. The human conscience or 'soul' represents the source of the morals or 'virtues' of the value life i.e. 'happiness'. Personal knowledge of morality depends on a wholistic understanding of the integration of the integrated  aspects of the human personality i.e. 'human nature'.

 Morality is defined by the morals or 'virtues' of the value life. Personal knowledge of morality depends on a wholistic understanding of the integration of all aspects of the personality of the human species as a social species i.e. 'human nature'. Human nature is defined in terms of human values for living i.e. 'human values'.

Human nature is defined in terms of human values for living.

 Man's value judgements - his criteria for good and evil- are derived from the meaningfulness of his own existence. Man finds fulfillment and happiness through love - the power by which he relates to the world through his fellow man."Living' as an art: the process of developing into that which one is potentially. "Humanistic ethics is the applied science of the 'art of living' based upon the theoretical 'science of man'. (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics 18)

Human values from the perspective of biology: human values as motives for behaviour are 'operative values' It makes sense to analyse the value life of the human organism from the perspective of biology. It is possible to analyse the human value life in terms of its function in the evolution of the human species as a social species. From the biological perspective the analysis of human values means that they can be understood in terms of their biological function in human evolution i.e. the science of value or 'moral science'. Moral science involves the study of the intrinsic and instinctive valuing process as a part of normal personality development as a function of development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Conscience is the source of values... the spiritual or 'divine' aspect of the human personality i.e. 'human nature'. Human nature is defined in terms of value choices  instinctively made on the basis of the inherent tendency of growth i.e. 'operative values'. Operative values are the value choices which are sensed as being advantageous to the organism in the process of development i.e. 'human needs'.

Operative values are value choices made by the human organism as a social organism with an inherent tendency for mature spiritual growth or 'self-actualisation'.

Human needs - rooted in the instinct for self-preservation... are motives for behaviour which vary with respect to their urgency or 'prepotency'  Human needs are rooted in the instinct for self-preservation and are functional in motivation for human behaviour.

 Human needs include physical needs for survival, psychological needs for security and spiritual needs for growth and development of the social brain i.e. 'socialisation'. As motives for learning behaviour the human needs are built into the biological constitution of the human organism as a 'hierarchy of needs' which can be described in terms of varying degrees of urgency or 'prepotency' (Maslow). One need is more prepotent than another if it is more urgent and inhibits other needs. In the order of urgency or 'prepotency', first are the physiological needs and physical needs for safety and survival and  - the 'survival needs'; second are the psychological needs for security - the 'security needs'; third are the needs for care and affection or 'unconditional love' - the 'belongingness needs'; fourth are the needs for self-respect or 'self-esteem' - the 'ego needs'; fifth are the needs for spiritual growth and development of the social brain or 'socialisation' - the 'spiritual needs' or 'metaneeds'.  The metaneeds of the value-life i.e. the spiritual, ethical and moral values, are instinctive biological components of the human organism. The human organism is instinctively aware of its own basic biological and biologically based psychological needs. The human individual is instinctively aware that the basic needs must be satisfied in order for him to achieve his full humaness, his potential as a 'whole' human being in a process of self-actualisation. The human organism has an instinctive responsibility to its own needs.

The various needs - survival needs, security needs, belongingness needs, ego needs and  metaneeds - are interrelated in a process of meaningful living.

The aim of life and the art of living  As intrinsic motives for behaviour the human needs are the source of 'motivation' for learning i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'. Intrinsic motivation - unlike 'extrinsic motivation' - engages personality growth and development. At the different stages of developmental growth and personality development - 'socio-cognitive stages' - the human needs rise to the surface of consciousness and become motivational for behaviour. The individual's behaviour is dominated by the need which is motivational at the particular sociocognitive stage which they have reached. Living becomes an art of developing into that which is one's potential. The art of living is the application of the human values which are the defining characteristics of human nature. The aim of human life is the unfolding of human powers according to the laws of human nature and the human spirit which is the human conscience. The human conscience is the source of human spiritual values. The characteristic 'humanness' or 'humanity' of the human organism is based on complete development of the human conscience or 'soul'. Construction of conscience is a function human personality development which depends on the facilitative methods of education for 'wholeness' i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education is education for complete personality development... i.e. personality health or 'wellness'.

The humanity of the whole or 'healthy' personality...the self-fulfilled... self-actualised individual is expressed in the core of human values which are shared with all other individuals of the human species.

Functioning of operative values in the behaviour of the human infant  A clear example of the functioning of operative values is the expression of the human infant which demonstrates clearly that the center of the valuing process is the organism itself. From the beginning, the infant prefers the experiences which satisfy its basic developmental needs... maintain, enhance, or actualise the organism and rejects the same experiences once those needs have been met... rejects experiences which do not maintain, enhance or actualise the organism. The infant reacts as a biological organism operating within an environment in which it must satisfy its basic needs. It knows what value choices are right. Likes can become dislikes and vice versa but always in favour of growth. With their overt reactions and clear expression of likes and dislikes, the infant makes it clear what the values are... naturally likes what is good for the organism and dislikes what is not good for the organism. Food is valued because it satisfies hunger. Affection is valued because it communicates security required for growth. Security is valued because it allows for expression of curiosity for new experience. This natural valuing process is the 'naturalistic' or 'organismic valuing process'. The infant's approach to values as 'value choices' is a flexible process of change and not a fixed system.

The organismic valuing process The organismic valuing process is a part of normal human development. As a biological organism, the human individual makes value choices on the basis of the inherent tendency toward self-actualisation. During development, the value choices are a function of the degree to which they are advantageous to the organism. Making choices and decisions according to its own organismic valuing process, the individual lives by values which facilitate its own survival, adaptation, self-enhancement and the enhancement of the human species. Like other species of the animal kingdom, homo sapiens - the social human animal - naturally behaves in accordance with an organismic valuing process which enables the organism to adapt to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'. Adaptability depends on motives for learning or 'human needs'.

Implications for education:  human values are fundamental to development of SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE' or 'creative intelligence'as a function of intuition Knowledge of human values - 'self-knowledge' - depends on the long period of normal psychological development in infancy and childhood i.e. ' spiritual growth'. Spritual growth depends on the provision of growth promoting environmental conditions i.e. 'education'. The root of the word 'education' is derived from the Latin 'e-ducare' literally meaning 'to lead forth' in the sense of bringing out from within something which is potentially present. Education is cultivation of the human potential for understanding of reason and wisdom of compassion i.e. 'creative intelligence' of 'compassionate genius' or 'social intelligence'. Holistic education is based on respect for the individual's value system as the product of the totality of their thought processes in the context of experience in a changing social environment.  

In the paradigm of holistic education the teacher's role is defined as 'facilitator of learning'

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The individual's value system is the product of the totality of the thought processes within the context of experiences in a changing social environment.

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 notes:

VALUES "VALUE SYSTEM BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF WHAT Albert Schweitzer called the 'reverence for life'. Valuable or good is all that which contributes to the greater unfolding of man's specific faculties and furthers life. Negative or bad is everything that strangles life and paralyzes man's activeness."(Erich Fromm The Revolution of Hope :Toward a Humanized Technology. New York, London: Harper & Row,1968 p.89)

 There are three categories of 'values': operative values, conceived values and objective values.

'Operative' values are value choices which are indicated with preferences of behavior, action and objects. As an example, if an earthworm placed in a 'Y' maze is given a choice between a smooth path and a path paved with sandpaper, it will prefer the smooth path to the potentially damaging path paved with sandpaper. The earthworm's choice is an 'operative value'. 'Conceived' values are value choices made on the basis of symbolized concepts. They are made in anticipation of the outcome, of the chosen behavior. As an example, a human being can choose one of two possible paths of action on the basis of a concept which he has been told to value such as 'honesty is the best policy'. The choice is a 'conceived value'. 'Objective' values are value choices which are objectively desirable. They are not sensed as being advantageous to the organism nor are they conceived as being symbolically desirable. (Morris, C.W. Varieties of Human Value. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956)

 Throughout human history theologians and philosophers have sought the same basic values. They have tended to look for guiding values from some sort of god, sacred book, ruling elite, or ruling individual - always from some source outside the human organism. The guiding values which have been prescribed by religions and philosophies can be found within a person's consciousness. In a lifelong study, Abraham Maslow observed people whom he considered as mankind's 'best specimens' living under the 'best conditions' and described the values by which they led their lives. The results of his observations showed that the values which guided these people from within their consciousness were the same as the religious values of truth, goodness, and justice. Maslow criticised theology for its overdependence on dogma, revelation and supernaturalism and discredited theologians for trying to find guiding principles outside the human organism. He discredited philosophers for making arguments with no authorities or absolute criteria. Maslow arrived at the conclusion that man has a 'natural personality' which is basically good... (From Lowry, Richard J., "A.H. Maslow: An Intellectual Portrait" Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., Monterey, California, l973)

 "Obedience is no mechanical thing, but a natural force of social cohesion, intimately related to the will, even its sublimation. Obedience of the right kind is a sublimation of the individual's will, a quality in the human soul without which society could not exist. But an obedience without true self-control, an obedience which is not the consequence of an awakened and exercised will, brings whole nations to disaster." (Maria Montessori To Educate the Human Potential 123)

Virtue is the "unfolding of the specific potentialities of every organism; for man it is the state in which he is most human." Virtue is the responsibility for one's own existence. (Man For Himself 26)

  'Vice' is "irresponsibility toward one's own existence."(Man For Himself 20)