2020-04Thematic Section
Max Scheler’s Two Approaches to Philosophy of Culture


Max Scheler seems to present two distinct approaches to philosophy of culture.  In the early period of his Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik and “Ordo Amoris,” he describes cultures as being defined by their distinct order of value preferencings.  In his later period of his “Probleme einer Soziologie des Wissens,” however, Scheler explains the dynamics of culture in terms of the interaction of what he calls “real” and “ideal sociological factors,” rooted in various drives (Triebe) and spirit (Geist), respectively. These approaches are fully compatible and complementary, the former describing culture’s vertical structure and the latter, its horizontal structure. Together these two approaches offer a comprehensive philosophy of culture, deserving greater attention.


Max Scheler, philosophy of culture, values, axiology, ordo amoris, ethos, sociology of knowledge, real and ideal sociological factors

How to cite:

Stikkers, Kenneth W. “Max Scheler’s Two Approaches to Philosophy of Culture.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 4 (2020): 36-44. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0039.


Kenneth W. Stikkers
Department of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Faner Hall, Mail Code 4505, 980 Faner Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA


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