- 1 Tadeusz Czeżowski (1889-1981) was one of the closest pupils of Kazimierz Twardowski, the founder o (...)
1The aim of this paper is to present the application of Czeżowski’s metaphysics to the defense of axiological realism understood as a form of metaphysical realism1. Axiological realism held by Czeżowski is an original combination of the medieval metaphysics, Brentanism and non-naturalism. Axiological realism is a view which can be defined as a negation of axiological antirealism. Axiological antirealism claims that axiological propositions: evaluations and norms do not have any logical values or that they are always false (as error-theory claims), and that values are not in the things of themselves, but they are rather mere projections; they are just feelings that we project onto the world. Axiological realism has two forms: naturalism and non-naturalism.
2Axiological non-naturalism was for Czeżowski the only possible option since he was convinced that axiological propositions are true or false, and it is impossible to infer axiological propositions from natural propositions, that is propositions representing natural facts (in other words it is not possible to “deduce” values from being).
3The evidence that axiological propositions have one of two logical values is delivered by the analysis of language and the usage of the expressions representing logical values; ‘it is true that...’ and ‘it is false that...’. Czeżowski made a very simple observation that the propositions ‘Truthfulness is good’ and ‘It is true that truthfulness is good’ are meaningful [Czeżowski 1989, 144].
4It is also worth noting that the best known explanation of the existence of inferences in the domain of axiological discourse consists in the assumption that axiological sentences have logical values whose bearers are propositions. As an example of the inference in the domain of ax-iological discourse may serve the following reasoning [Czeżowski 1989, 107]:
(P1) If truthfulness is good, then one shall tell the truth.
(P2) Truthfulness is good.
(3) One shall tell the truth.
- 2 Peter Geach made it clear that we believe that the status of an argument as valid depends, at leas (...)
- 3 Moore reasons: if axiological properties were identical with natural properties, then it would be (...)
5Since Czeżowski, like the whole tradition to which he belonged, rejected the deflationist conception of truth and approved of the classical definition of truth, he could not neglect the linguistic facts previously mentioned, and he had to find an adequate truth-maker for axiological sentences. Thus, it is clear that Czeżowski was perfectly aware of “Frege’s point” or “Searle’s problem”2 Czeżowski, like many other thinkers, was persuaded by Moore that correct deduction of axiological propositions from natural ones is impossible. The crucial thing here was Moore’s warning against ‘the naturalistic fallacy’ based on his famous ‘open question argument’3. Czeżowski never analyzed that argument but he accepted it without reservation. However, Czeżowski could not accept the metaphysics of axiological realism defended by Moore because for Moore expressions relevant to axiological discourse, for example ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘beautiful’, ‘valuable’ and their synonyms, are predicates denoting simple, indefinable, and, in Brentanian terms, ‘unpresentable’ object’s properties, that is properties which, as Hume and Kant would say, ‘make no addition’ to the object.
6Let us note that there is no standard understanding of property in the Brentanist metaphysics, for example, Meinong distinguishes properties in an object (Sosein) (object’s constituents or parts, in terms of classical metaphysics: ‘accidents’) and properties of an object (Sein) or, in Findlay’s and Parsons’ terms, “nuclear” properties (like for example green, round) and “extranuclear” properties like existent/non-existent, simple/complex, possible/impossible. Brentano himself rejected properties as an ontological category altogether [Chrudzimski 2004].
- 4 It does not mean that a property is a kind of entia rationis, a fiction or only a product of menta (...)
7A property in the Czeżowskian psycho-ontology is understood as a constituent of an object, which is distinguished in an object by the process of abstraction (abstraction is the process of the mental analysis of an object). It can be thought of an object (represented) by a subject, or we may also say that a property is a presentable constituent of an object [Czeżowski 1938, 31]4. The picture below illustrates Czeżowski’s classification of properties.
- 5 Concepts are symbolic, which means that they present objects indirectly by means of signs of a nat (...)
8The ontology of properties is, as has been mentioned above, closely related to the ontology of mind defended by Czeżowski, and the crucial role is played here by the notion of presentation. In Czeżowski’s view, a presentation may be a sense perception, which directly brings object’s natural properties before the mind (an intuitive act), or it may be a discursive and abstract act bringing a given property before the mind by for example a definition [Czeżowski 1959, 35-36]5. The domain of presentations may be illustrated as follows.
- 6 But someone may object here and insist that there is a clear difference between 'being presented' (...)
9It follows from this that a property of an object which does not belong to the object’s description is impossible6. If Czeżowski is right at this point (concerning the nature of property), then, axiological realism in the form defended by Moore (in Poland Tatarkiewicz held the same view [Tatarkiewicz 1971, 269]) is impossible because all sentences containing axiological predicates would be false (since, as will be demonstrated below, there are no properties which would be denoted by these predicates). Therefore, it is extremely important for a Brentanist like Czeżowski (sensitive to language analysis) to find metaphysics which could serve as a ground for axiological realism.
10The arguments against the predicative conception of values are similar to the reasons of non-predicative notion of existence therefore I will present them together.
- 7 Jaquette observes that “Thinking about the round square is undoubtedly different than thinking abo (...)
11The first reason is based in principle on Hume’s and Kant’s views. An existent object and a non-existent object do not differ in content, or as Meinong would say: they do not differ with regard to the nuclear properties, the same may be said about values, and, hence, a judgment about existence and a judgment about values make no addition to the description of an object [Czeżowski 1938, 4]. Therefore, existence and values are not properties. The argument in this form seems to be valid in spite of the fact that there is a difference in content between a presentation of an existent object and a presentation of a non-existent object (the point was observed by Jaquette [Jaquette 1986, 435]7.
12The second reason is that since axiological sentences are true or false (as Czeżowski claimed), then they are, according to the Brentanian psycho-ontology, expressions of axiological judgments. The nature of judgment is explained by Czeżowski in terms of the so called ‘idiogenetic theory of judgment’, which embraces two essential claims [Łukasiewicz 2006, 188]:
(1) each judgment is reducible to the existential judgment; that is to the judgment asserting the existence of an object
(2) no judgment is a combination of a subject and a predicate.
13The axiological judgment does not satisfy (1) because it asserts the value of an object (as will be demonstrated below), and not its existence, but it satisfies (2): the axiological judgment as a judgment is not a combination of a subject and a predicate. It follows from this that the judgment ‘a is good’ does not contain any predicate. The word ‘good’, according to the idiogenetic theory of judgment, is only an apparent predicate (the same may be said about the word ‘beautiful’ and their synonyms).
14The third reason was delivered by the analysis of the syntactic structure of expressions composed of such words as ‘true’, ‘good’, ‘necessary’ and ‘beautiful’, and according to this analysis, existence and values are not any properties because they are not symbolized in language by predicates. Such words as ‘true’, ‘good’, ‘necessary’ and ‘beautiful’ are only morphologically similar to predicates but, in fact, they are not predicates. They are sentential functors because they occur in such constructions as, for example, ‘It is necessary that... ’, ‘It is good that... ’, ‘It is beautiful that... ’, or ‘It is true that... ’. It is of course permissible to say:
‘The blue sky is beautiful’
as it is possible to say:
‘The sky is blue’
15But the sentence ‘The blue sky is beautiful’ is equivalent to the sentence:
‘It is beautiful that the sky is blue’.
or to the sentence
‘It is beautiful that for some x: (x is a sky) and (x is blue)’.
16However, it is not possible to interpret ‘The sky is blue’ in the same way because the linguistic construction ‘It is blue that... ’ cannot result in any sentence [Czeżowski 1965, 38]. More generally, we say that the sentence
may be translated into the sentence:
‘It is true that for some x: x is a’
- 8 The word 'is' occurring in the expression 'Some x is a' denotes the relation of membership if 'a' (...)
‘It is true that there is such an x that x is a’ 88.
17Let me now following Czeżowski introduce the concept of modi essendi which is crucial for his metaphysics.
18Czeżowski says that:
In all these examples there occurs a sentence composed of modus and dictum (if we use the classical terminology); modus is the expression: ‘It is necessary that...’It is true that... ’ etc., dictum is the sentence following modus. Today we call modus a sentential functor. The circumstance that modal functors (necessary, possible), the functor of assertion (it is true that... ) and the functor of evaluation (good, beautiful) do require as their complement a sentence (and not a name, as other adjectives do when they play the role of an attribute) shows that these modi cannot be given in presentations but that they are asserted by propositions. Anyway, it has been well known for a long time — Hume and Kant were conscious of it — that they (modi) cannot be given in any presentation, and even that these expressions are ‘con-tentless’; they express only someone’s reaction to a certain state of affairs. [Czeżowski 1965, 38-39, my translation]
19According to these considerations, I think that the sentence: ‘a is valuable’ means
‘It is valuable that a exists’.
20And the last sentence means the same as the sentence
‘It is valuable that for some x: x is a’.
21Thus, Czeżowski’s view is that such expressions as ‘exists’, ‘valuable’, ‘good’, ‘beautiful’ but also ‘necessary’ and ‘possible’ are not predicates (of the first level at least), and, therefore, they do not denote any properties of things or individuals. However, sentences containing them are not necessarily false because they assert that what was called in the Middle Ages ‘ways of being’ (modi essendi) .
22But it is not clear what modi essendi are. The above quotation says that modi essendi are represented by sentential functors but also that they are asserted by propositions. Therefore, we may ask: if they are not properties what might they be? Are they correlates of sentences which are built by means of relevant sentential functors — axiological functors — i.e., are they states of affairs or facts of a special kind or are they only correlates of sentential functors?
23If they (modi essendi) are correlates of sentential functors, then they cannot be states of affairs because expressions representing states of affairs (sentences) can be transformed by such an operation as, for example nominalization made by the word ‘that’, and sentential functors cannot be transformed in that way. The result of the nominalization of the sentence ‘Peter is truthful’ is the expression ‘that Peter is truthful’ which can be the subject of a sentence, for example, ‘that Peter is truthful is good’, but the result of the nominalization of the functor ‘it is true that... ’ is the meaningless expression ‘that it is true that... ’, which still is in need of completion.
24Therefore, let us assume that modi essendi including values are correlates of sentences, that is that values (and existence) are facts.
25Then, however, complex sentences would presumably have their own propositional correlates. This would also concern the sentences:
’It is true that Peter is truthful’
’It is good that Peter is truthful’.
26Let us represent the sentence ‘Peter is truthful’ as ‘p’. And now, one may argue that, if modi essendi are really states of affairs, then the correlates of sentences ‘It is good that p’, ‘It is good that it is good that p’ and ‘It is good that it is good that it is good that p’ and so on are states of affairs as well. Then, however, one may pose the question: what is the difference between two sentences ‘It is good that p’ and ‘It is good that it is good that p’? If there were no difference between the sentences in question, then it would mean that they do not have their own correlates either because they have no correlates at all, and then
- 9 I'm grateful to Manuel Rebuschi for his remark that if the expression 'it is good that..." were in (...)
27there are no values, or, because they have one and the same correlate and a candidate for such a correlate could be p9. But it would mean that there are no values either since p is a natural fact and we excluded from the very beginning that axiological propositions can be inferred from natural propositions; that is from propositions related to natural facts.
- 10 I do not exclude, in principle, a third possible answer to the question discussed; modi essendi (a (...)
28I think that there are at least two possible answers to the above question10.
29(1) One can render the sentence ‘It is good that it is good that p’ (this sentence also may be read as ‘It is good that p is good’) as a metalanguage sentence saying something about the first level sentence ‘It is good that p’ (‘p is good’), but it is not clear what in fact the second level sentence “It is good that ‘it is good that p’” says about the first level sentence ‘It is good that p’.
Let us note that in the case of ‘truth’ in the complex metalanguage sentence such as for example “It is true that ‘today is Friday’ is true” the situation is a little bit different and more understandable than in the case of ‘good’. The first occurrence of truth in the last sentence would be objectual, and, according to the classical conception of truth, would concern the existence of the state of affairs: Today is Friday, and the second occurrence of truth would refer to the metalanguage concept of truth, and would concern the first level sentence. The case of truth, however, is insufficient for making clear the point with regard to values (goodness): the second level sentence “It is good that ‘It is good that p’ ” would say that the first level sentence ‘It is good that p’ is good. The second occurrence of ‘good’ in the considered metalanguage sentence would apply to the fact p.
Whatever the word ‘good’ may stand for, certainly the concept of good related to a sentence has no moral or, more generally, axi-ological sense, and that would concern not only the second level concept of good but also higher level concepts resulting from the progressing iteration of the first level sentence (to be more precise: of the functor ‘it is good... ’).
30(2) The metalanguage interpretation of the word ‘good’ occurring in complex sentences is not the only possible one. There is a clear difference between the sentence ‘Peter’s truthfulness is good’ and the sentence ‘It is good that Peter’s truthfulness is good’. It seems that in the last case we do not say something about the sentence but about the world which is such that Peter’s truthfulness is good in it, perhaps, even we say that the world is good since it contains as its constituent a given good state of affairs.
- 11 Another possible reason why modi essendi can be regarded as states of affairs may be the following (...)
31Therefore, in my view, the very possibility of iteration of axiological propositions (or facts) is not a sufficient reason to eliminate the prepositional interpretation of values regarded as states of affairs. I think that the above analysis shows also that it is at least possible that there is a difference between iterated axiological sentences of different levels, and hence it is at least possible that they have their own correlates11 .
- 12 Of course someone may postulate unthinkable facts lying beyond the capacity of presentation but it (...)
32The conclusion that values are facts or can be regarded as facts could not, however, be accepted by Czeżowski because he very seriously treated his statement that the functor of the assertion ‘it is true that... ’ is a functor of existence, and that the functor of evaluation ‘it is valuable that... ’ is the functor of value [Czeżowski 1965, 69]. This was the direct consequence of the definition of truth, according to which, a proposition is true if there exists a referent of the subject that the proposition is about. Since existence and values are not properties and cannot be presented, then they cannot be states of affairs (facts) because the latter can be presented. A state of affairs is just a complex object of a presentation upon which a relevant judgment is based, and it usually has the form aRb (where ‘R’ stands for a relation which in principle is thinkable: can be defined in terms of the set theory)12. Thus, the existence of a fact and not the fact of existence is asserted by an assertoric proposition, and, similarly, the value of a fact and not the fact of value is asserted by an axiological proposition.
- 13 In Poland Ossowska stressed this point strongly: axiological propositions intend to assert someth (...)
- 14 Czeżowski followed, however, not Thomas Aquinas but Duns Scotus by claiming that transcendentalia (...)
33However, if values are not individuals, not properties (and not facts), and expressions representing them in language are contentless (meaningless), then, one may suppose that there are no values at all, and that axiological antirealism is right13. To avoid such a conclusion and to defend realism Czeżowski resorts to transcendental concepts and regards modi essendi as transcendentalia. Transcendentalia do not belong to the description of an object, that is: they do not determine universals and cannot be defined, (in Brentanian terms: they cannot be presented) and, hence, they are no properties in Czeżowski’s psycho-ontology. However, one should add that they are not nothing. Since existence and values are not properties either, then — Czeżowski might have concluded — they can be regarded as transcendentalia [Czeżowski 1977, 2004]14 .
34In sum, the essential role in the controversy between non-naturalistic realism and antirealism is played by the claim that values (goodness, beauty) are not object’s properties (and not facts). Therefore, goodness and beauty cannot be identical with any natural property or with any natural fact. Truthfulness, kindness, sacrifice, justice, lie, faithfulness, harmony etc. are not values but they are natural properties, and, as Czeżowski calls them, they are ‘criteria of goodness’, ‘criteria of evil’, ‘criteria of beauty’, or more generally, ‘criteria of values’ [Czeżowski 1989, 107].
35I think that the relation between sentence, value and state of affairs might be as follows: a state of affairs is the correlate of a sentence and the value (or existence) of a state of affairs is asserted by a complex sentence built by the sentential functor ‘it is valuable that... ’ (or ‘it is true that... ’).
36Values can be regarded as modi essendi provided that it is possible to demonstrate that the sentence:
It is valuable that ∑x(x= a) (*)
is a faithful translation of the sentence
a is valuable. (**)
37A faithful translation is to be understood as a synonymous and, hence, a logically equivalent translation. If we read the particular quantifier occurring in the sentence (*) in the existential way, then the sentence (*) will be false if ‘a’ stands for a fictional object, and, therefore, the proposed translation will not be faithful [Gorzka 1991, 21-22].
- 15 Such a move implies a change in the understanding of the Brentanist concept of being (ens) and mak (...)
38However, this objection can be removed, if we relate existence to a model. We may say about each (non-contradictory) object that it exists in a certain model but, of course not always that the model will be the real world15.
39Next, someone may argue: it does not matter whether axiological expressions are predicates or sentential functors because it is still possible that they only express mental attitudes or emotions, and they do not refer to any reality. The response to this objection is that since axi-ological knowledge is possible (in the sense that its theoretical model is not inconsistent, and Czeżowski provided such a model), then the class of referents of axiological expressions, whatever they might be, is not necessarily empty, and that it is better for some reasons (the best explanation of the existence of inferences in the domain of axiolog-ical discourse) to claim that axiological expressions have referents in the reality than to claim that they have no referents.
40One may also say that axiological expressions regarded as sentential functors are only apparent sentential functors because in fact they are predicates, and one should translate the sentence:
’It is good that Peter is truthful’
into the sentence:
’Peter’s truthfulness is good’.
41The response from Czeżowski’s position would be that if ‘good’ were a predicate, then it could be defined in terms of natural predicates or properties. But it is not the case, and hence the word ‘good’ is an apparent predicate.
42The next problem is that Czeżowski regards for example justice, truthfulness or faithfulness as natural properties, and by doing it he is not able to recognize axiological (normative) character of these expressions. He himself would have responded, I suppose, that these natural properties retain axiological nature because they may be criteria of values.
43Axiological realism is based on some assumptions concerning the structure of language; language is understood as containing expressions belonging to different syntactic categories: namely to predicates and sentential functors. However, such an assumption is not true for all natural languages, and therefore, at most, we may speak about realism in relation to a certain type of language. I think that the objection is right. The only possible form of axiological realism, if we may call it in that way, is ‘internal axiological realism’.
44Czeżowski’s conceptions of values reconstructed above can be considered both from historical and systematic points of view. From the historical point of view, Czeżowski’s proposal is above all a development of Twar-dowski’s ideas. Twardowski was a metaphysical and axiological realist, but he virulently defended Brentano’s idiogenetic theory of judgment and treated values as the object’s properties. However, it seems that the acceptance of the following three propositions:
(1) Axiological sentences are true or false;
(2) Judgment is not a combination of a subject and a predicate;
(3) Values are properties
is logically impossible. The acceptance of (1) and (2) entails the rejection of (3), and Czeżowski accepted propositions (1) and (2) but replaced (3) by its negation: Values are not properties. Thus, his revision of Twardowski’s views makes them coherent and at least logically tenable.
- 16 Since Czeżowski holds that values are not properties and axiological predicates are only apparent (...)
45It is interesting from the systematic point of view to which extent Czeżowski’s proposal meets one of the most vividly discussed issues in the filed of contemporary metaphysics of axiology, that is the problem of supervenience. According to Czeżowski, values and the object’s natural properties are ontologically distinct because modi essendi are regarded as transcendentalia, and, hence not as properties16. However, at the same time values depend on the object’s natural properties; it is not possible that the natural properties do not change if the values do change. In other words, values (in Czeżowski’s case modi essendi) supervene on properties. The problem is that a non-naturalist is not able to explain this fact: the fact of an ontological dependence of values upon natural properties and the fact of an ontological difference between values and properties. A naturalist can explain supervenience by the assumption that values are reducible to natural (non-axiological) properties. This kind of explanation is not accessible to Czeżowski since values and properties belong to different ontological categories. Czeżowski never considered the problem of supervinience, and, hence, we may only speculate what he would have responded to the problem in question. He could have argued that the naturalist’s reasoning must be unsound because it proves too much. It is so becasue the form of the argument seems to generalize into an argument that no class of entities can supervene on another class of entities unless the former are reducible to the latter in some way. But this cannot be a correct view in all cases of supervienience. According to the idiogenetic theory of judgment, a judgment supervenes on a presentation but a judgment cannot be reduced to any presentation, and the same have to be said about values and properties. Irrespective of whether such an approach to the problem of supervenienice is satisfactory, Czeżowski’s solution based on the medieval metaphysics and the Brentanian psycho-ontology provides a bold enrichment of the metaphysics of axiology, and constitutes an original achievement of Brentano’s school and in particular of the Polish Brentanism.