value judgement


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value judgement

an ethical or moral evaluation, especially where this leads to a statement of what, on ethical or moral grounds, ‘ought to be done’. In Logical Positivism (see POSITIVISM) the assumption is sometimes made that no ‘value judgement’ can ever be derived from a purely 'scientific’ statement (see FACT-VALUE DISTINCTION). However, two other possibilities exist:
  1. that ‘facts’ and ‘theories’, although they can never dictate our ‘values’, can inform us about causal connections, etc., thus also indicating how we might go about achieving our ethical goals (this approximately was WEBER's view; see also HYPOTHETICAL IMPERATIVE);
  2. that the notion of an insurmountable divorce between ‘facts’ and ‘values’ is false, and that whenever possible we should always seek to ground our ethical and moral positions and our value judgements on firm sociological foundations (the position, for example, of COMTE or DURKHEIM, or the FRANKFURT SCHOOL OF CRITICAL THEORY).

All three positions continue to be held by different sociologists in modern sociology. See also CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE, KANT, BECKER, HIERARCHY OF CREDIBILITY.

References in periodicals archive ?
Finally, I found the `judgement' interesting, in that it equates with what we are dealing with today: the same arrogance and value judgements from the prime minister and his ministers.
Implicit to the market-based critique of the GPI is that the new measure substitutes value judgements for the objectivity of the market, an argument that updates age-old questions about economic theory for the end of the millennium.
They found that the formation of bubbles was linked to increased activity in an area of the brain that processes value judgements.
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Learn how to assess condition and make important value judgements with this essential collector's guide.
Mr Gazeley avoids value judgements and confines himself to 'the material condition of poor working-class families'.
Individuals need the freedom to act on their own value judgements, even if those judgements are disagreeable to others.
Seriously, Hays' piece raises the issues of how far scholars can legitimately t ake their personal enthusiasms, and to what extent it is permissible to make contemporary value judgements about the design of the past.