Is there axiological symmetry between love and hate?
Recently, Íngrid Vendrell Ferran (2018) has emphasized the depth of early phenomenological approaches not only to love but also to hatred. In Max Scheler’s philosophy of values (axiology), love and hate are „forms of emotional behaviour towards the value-content itself“ (Scheler 1923, 171). They direct the subject’s attention to objects which bear values. Since the apprehension of values – valueception – even precedes perception, love and hate are phenomena of greatest importance to understand Scheler’s phenomenology and metaphysics. While love is “directed at the positing of a potential higher value” (ibid., 176), hate is directed at the potential inferior value, making the two acts – not entirely but axiologically – symmetrical. This symmetry is a decisive albeit questionable constituent of Schelerian emotional phenomenology. Only a critique of the idea of strict symmetry between love and hate may corroborate or repudiate the general axiological perspective.
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