Difficulties in dealing with values follow from the failure to distinguish clearly between values as characteristic kinds of human experiences and value judgments as statements about such kinds of experiences. Values originate in the basic conditions under which human beings conduct their lives at different times and places. Value judgments are cognitive statements about such experience and must be grounded on such experiences. The failure to distinguish clearly between the existential field of human normative exper¬ience and the analysis by which we develop our knowledge of that field is a principal source of difficulty in forming adequate value judgments. An ethical theory that draws from the experiences of persons can then be applied back to these experiences in order to guide human action is capable of fruitful and progressive development.