Axiological Systems Theory: a general model of society

  • Francisco Parra-Luna Facultad de Politicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Keywords: Axiological, Values, Needs, Transformation, Regulation, Reference Pattern of Values, System of Values


Societal problems can be defined as some kind of axiological disequilibrium since values can be considered to be the raw material, which founds social phenomena. If “values” is the “degree of usefulness or suitability of things to satisfy necessities”, or to use more sociological terms, If “value is an element of a shared symbolic system which serves as the criterion for choosing between alternatives for orientation";, then, it can be extrapolated that everything, or almost everything in the field of human relations, can be considered as an enormous and complex framework of necessities and interests which can only be satisfied through the achievement of values. Thus the worker tends to aim for an adequate standard of living, security and personal satisfaction; the student looks for knowledge and preparation for the future; the sportsman for health and perhaps glory and prestige; and so on. This can also be seen in institutions: Education stresses knowledge; Economy the material side of living; the Armed Forces, security and order; etc. The reason for existence of institutions, the aim of all human association, from the two lovers or two friends, to the United Nations Organization, passing through the family, the firm, or the State, is solely due to the need for carrying out and attaining values which will satisfy original or derived necessities. A central hypothesis in this paper is to support that any systemic theory of society could not avoid to deal with values as the basic raw material for defining and measuring its performance and for achieving the best possible solution of societal problems.