fact-value distinction

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fact-value distinction

the distinction (often associated with HUME and the Logical Positivists) between factual assertions and moral assertions as two distinct classes of assertions, and the claim that moral assertions cannot be derived logically from factual assertions. While some sociologists have accepted the terms of this distinction (including, significantly, Max WEBER), other sociologists have refused to accept such a limitation on the significance of social science on the grounds that, for all practical purposes, facts and theories both inform and influence values, and that to deny this is to suggest an ‘irrationalism’ of values which is unwarranted. As GOULDNER (1973) remarks, ‘one possible meaning of the term “objectivity” in social science is the contribution it might make to a human unity of mankind’. See also VALUE FREEDOM AND VALUE NEUTRALITY, VALUE RELEVANCE, BECKER, HIERARCHY OF CREDIBILITY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
So while we may still sometimes want to distinguish between evaluative and value-free or nonevaluative claims, I suggest that we stop describing the latter as "objective," as it typically encourages confusion with "objective" in the sense of "true." When we are talking about living beings, which must have things that are good or bad for them, the fact-value dichotomy breaks down.
The "is-ought dichotomy" goes by other names as well, including the "fact-value dichotomy" (the notion that you can't derive values from facts) and the "naturalistic fallacy" (the notion that you can't define "good" in terms of natural properties).
Some pragmatists contend that analytic philosophy fails to address practical issues--what John Dewey called 'the problems of men'--and endorses a faulty fact-value dichotomy. Many of these disagreements reflect mistaken views on both sides of the analytic-pragmatist divide, views that could easily be corrected through more open dialogue across the two traditions.
For that reason, the Handbook will appeal more to the reader who is comparatively new to the normative dimensions of economics or the fact-value dichotomy and is looking for direction or to the specialist who would like to know more about areas outside his domain of specialization.
Third, exclusive focus upon what qualifies as observable, tangible, external reality obscures the forgotten part of the fact-value dichotomy. Latour believes that the purpose of a meaningful political ecology is best served by greater public discussion of value, or matters of concern: "To speak about 'facts' amounts to a mixing of morality that is impotent in the face of established facts with a hierarchy of priorities that no longer has the right to eliminate any fact.
Ayer's fact-value dichotomy was one way in which he separated philosophy from life.
(8.) Sayre did not use the term "politics-administration dichotomy" in the 1951 article, although he linked Simon's "fact-value dichotomy" to the "earlier formulation of the separation of politics from administration" (Sayre 1951, 5), as did Appleby (1949).
Moore's argument does not undermine a deeper, and more penetrating, version of naturalism, one that questions the fact-value dichotomy itself.
The fact-value dichotomy turns out to be a philosopher's fiction, and the problem of "re-uniting" fact and value discourse is in this sense a pseudo-problem.
This fact-value dichotomy, Masters believes, rests on the supposed gulf between Is and Ought.
In contrast to Hume's is-ought objection and Moore's naturalistic fallacy and even to the new natural-law theory represented by Germaine Grisez and John Finnis, Boyd argues against any fact-value dichotomy. He asserts that facts and values are bound together in a world made by God and that God has instilled certain desires and purposes in us upon which he expects us to act.
Seen from this perspective, the fact-value dichotomy of the Tractatus is simply a special case of what, for Wittgenstein, is the more fundamental distinction between propositions which have a clear, determinate, public sense, because they fall within a shared domain of meaning, on the one hand, and putative propositions which lie outside such a domain, on the other.