Robert S. Hartman Institute

Robert S. Hartman (1910-1973) was a Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee and the National University of Mexico and pioneer of the field of value science known as formal axiology.

Hartman’s life-long quest was to answer the question, “What is good?” – And to answer the question in such a way that good could be organized to help preserve and enhance the value of human life. His formal axiology, as the ordering logic for the value sciences, receives its most complete expression in his major work, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology (1967).  He applied his value method to economics in the Profit Sharing Manual (1948), Die Partnerschaft von Kapital und Arbeit: Theorie und Praxis eines neuen Wirtschaftssystems  (1953), and La participacion de utilidades en Mexico (1963). His extensive work in promoting profit sharing became the basis for today’s 401k retirement savings plans. In the field of psychology, he applied his axiology in The Hartman Value Inventory, a value profile, widely used in Mexico and by consultants and psychiatrists in the United States, which measures with exactness the value judgments of an individual. Before his death, five of the largest corporations in this country used the Hartman value concepts in developing the sensitivity of their executives to the human value aspects of management decisions.

The Robert S. Hartman Institute is a think tank headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and its purpose is to to collect, compile and disseminate information concerning or relating to the formal and applied axiology (value theory) of Robert S. Hartman; to seek the application of R. S. Hartman’s theory of value to all fields of study where relevant, creating axiological sciences; and to promote the further development of pure or formal axiology, thus elaborating the pure logic of value built upon the foundations of R. S. Hartman’s work.   Ron Oltmanns is a member of the board of the Robert S. Hartman Institute.

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