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April 19, 2016

The Primary Axiom of All Value

Prof. John McMurtry

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The following Primary Axiom of All Value is a core excerpt from Prof. John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford: Eolss Publishers, 2011. Here it is permitted reproduction in response to Prof. Mohamed Elmasry's article, "In Search of The Meaning of Life".

The Primary Axiom is: X is value if and only if, and to the extent that, x consists in or enables a more coherently inclusive range of thought/feeling/action than without it.


Conversely: x is disvalue if and only if, and to the extent that, x reduces/disables any range of thought/experience/action.


These three ultimate fields of value are defined, in turn, as:

thought = internal image and concept (T);
feeling = the felt side of being/ senses, desires, emotions, moods (F);
action = animate movement across species and organizations (A)

Symbolically expressed:

+V = > LR + and −V = < LR where L = Range of T-F-A and / = and/or.

The unlimited validity and applicability of the primary axiom is shown by its:

(1) self-evidence insofar as its denial is nonsensical;
(2) universality across all domains and issues of value judgment insofar as there is no domain of value to which it does not apply;
(3) presupposition in value judgments and conflicts across domains;
(4)  objectivity insofar as its value is independent of anyone’s recognition;
(5) sovereignty in that it overrides any other value in cases of conflict;
(6) measurable in degrees of worth insofar as greater/lesser ranges of thought, felt being and action can be decided from any given reference body of value;
(7) A contingent pattern in long-term evolutionary and historical development.

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