Unit 1: Foundations

System of Values

The English word 'value' comes from the Latin word 'valere' which means worth or esteem.  When we talk about the value of a thing, such as a car or a house, we are speaking about how much money we would be willing to pay for that car or house.  In other words, the value we place on something is equivalent to the sacrifice we are willing to make for that thing.  In understand our value system therefore, several things need to be taken into consideration: first, how much would I pay (not literally in terms of money only, but also in terms of time, energy, self).  Secondly, we need to consider whether or not the amount I am prepared to pay is really equivalent to the value of thing I seek.



What is the biggest crisis facing culture today?


What constitutes reasoning and what are its kinds?


Why did Lyotard declare that meta-narratives are dead?


Psychology Today explains the crisis in critical thinking

Max Scheler

Read more about Max Scheler at the New World Encyclopedia here >

Max Scheler (August 22, 1874 - May 19, 1928) was a German philosopher known for his work in phenomenologyethics, and philosophical anthropology

Scheler argued that values were objective, unchanging , a priori, and non-formal, and ranked them, and their opposites (“disvalues”), in a hierarchy of five levels:

  • 1. Values of pleasure vs. disvalues of displeasure: Namely pleasure to pain (values of sensible feeling).

  • 2. Values of vitality and of the noble vs. disvalues of the ignoble: Namely noble to vulgar (values of vital feeling).

  • 3. Values of the mind (truth, beauty, justice vs. disvalues of their opposites): Namely beautiful to ugly, just to unjust, pure knowledge of truth (spiritual values).

  • 4. Values of the holy vs. disvalues of the unholy: Namely holy to unholy (religious values).

  • 5. Values of utility vs. disvalues of the useless.

Further Reading: Scheler

Read academic articles on Scheler's phenomenology of values from Reserach Gate:



Use the forms and links in this section to evaluate your thinking on personality, values, and more.

Our command of grammar and syntax is directly related to our ability to convey ideas clearly and succinctly.  Understanding our command of grammar sheds a light on our communication strenghts and weaknesses.
Many of us read without fully understanding the subtleties of a text.  Changes in syntax and punctuation can often change the meaning of a text.  Take this assessment to see how well you can detect subtleties in word choice.
Many employers and institutions use personality tests (most often based on Meyers-Briggs types).  While there are limitations to such tests, it is useful to know how your personality might affect communication.  
Personality type guide >

(c) October 2018: Rebus Institute & Rebus Education Services