Robert S. Hartman established his Axiology, or the science of values, upon a simple concept; that "value" is concept fulfillment. What he meant by this axiom was that we can scientifically compare the quality, or ranking, of values based upon the degree to which they fulfill their concept. The foundational notion of value fulfillment from the Hartman perspective was tied to what he believed were eternal and immutable truths, simply put, "that people are more important than things, and that things are more important than ideas or blueprints of things." This foundational tenet Hartman labeled his Hierarchy of Value. It is from this perspective that axiology finds its rooting, that all value judgments are not equal, and that they can be scientifically measured based upon their fulfillment of concept. Individual people dwell in the domain of intrinsic value, useful things, actions and social roles in the domain of extrinsic value, and ideas and constructs in the realm of systemic value.
This perspective of value fulfillment and priority of value selection outlines a method of placing relative judgments upon specific behaviors and contextual beliefs. The linkage for Hartman was in his belief that a study of how people rank the importance of these values can render unique insights into the type of work that they are called to do, their innate character, and behavioral disposition. Study continues on the validity of Hartman's proposition and the underlying calculus that reveals the measurable extent of human value selection.