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The Axiological Memory

Nicolae Râmbu

This book represents an attempt to explain the manner in which values are attached to memory. The author examines that when the fundamental values of a civilisation are attached to the individual’s memory, they can never be forgotten or erased, irrespective of how violent or subtle the means used for this purpose might be. The essay investigates why some people who have been educated in a foreign culture and who are, well-integrated, suddenly return to the fundamental values of their culture of origin and, in some cases, they violently turn against their foster civilization.

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5 The collective unconscious and axiological memory

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5 The collective unconscious and axiological memory

The concept of axiological memory is discussed in this essay using the work of Romanian philosopher Lucian Blaga. We begin with a brief presentation of his conception of the collective unconscious. For this, we focus on the deduction of its categories in order to then argue our thesis that Blaga’s philosophy of culture contains a profound conception of axiological memory.

1 The metaphysical deduction of abyssal categories

Lucian Blaga’s theory of the collective unconscious is well explicated in his voluminous works The Trilogy of Culture and The Trilogy of Values. The thesis that I argue here is that the abyssal or stylistic categories to which the Romanian philosopher referred are ultimately unconscious axiological standards that shape any act of cultural creation or assessment of a work of art by an individual member of a society, people, or civilisation. In other words, “the stylistic matrix” or “stylistic field,” which is a key concept in Blaga’s philosophy, is nothing but a form of axiological memory. As a faculty in which the fundamental values are imprinted in a specific historical era or in a particular community, such a form of axiological memory is essentially collective and unconscious.

Influenced by Oswald Spengler and Leo Frobenius, Blaga develops a theory of the collective unconscious that revolves around the concept of style. The first work of the volume The Trilogy of Culture, published in 1935, is called Horizon and Style and...

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