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Axiology (from Greek ἀξιᾱ, axiā, "value, worth"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study of quality or value. It is often taken to include ethics and aesthetics[1] — philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of value — and sometimes it is held to lay the groundwork for these fields, and thus to be similar to value theory and meta-ethics. The term was first used in the early 20th century by Paul Lapie and E. Von Hartmann.[2]

One area in which research continues to be pursued is so-called formal axiology, or the attempt to lay out principles regarding value with mathematical rigor.

The term is also used sometimes for economic value.


  1. Random House Unabridged Dictionary. [1]. Dictionary Entry on Axiology.
  2. Samuel L. Hart. Axiology--Theory of Values. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

Further reading

  • Hartman (1967). The Structure of Value. 384 pages.
  • Findlay, J. N. (1970). Axiological Ethics. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-00269-5. 100 pages.
  • Rescher, Nicholas (2005). Value Matters: Studies in Axiology. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag. ISBN 3-937202-67-6. 140 pages.