Axiology (Encyclopedia of Science and Religion)
An axiology is a theory about the nature of values and value judgments. Distinctions are usually made among aesthetic values (concerning the beauty of an object or action), moral values (concerning whether something is good or right), and scientific or intellectual values (concerning the coherence and adequacy of a theory). Nondualistic theories (Buddhism, Confucianism, process philosophy) deny these distinctions. Those who think value judgments are objective argue that the value of anything is measured by how well it imitates normative universals or conforms to the will of God. Empiricists, including most modern scientists, reject such objective universals. They treat values as subjective responses or judgments, as creations of personal preference or cultural tradition.
See also AESTHETICS; BEAUTY; VALUE