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 ?
Tax experts can point up the importance of recognizing and making clear the value judgments that must be made in choosing between an income and a consumption-only tax.
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions because they involve ethics and value judgments rather than facts.
If we look properly it is not difficult in economics to discover a value judgment lurking behind theories and propositions which give the outward appearance of innocent neutrality.
However, the new welfare economists argued that a public policy is justifiable, without any value judgment, if a potential Pareto improvement is generated--that is, if it brings society to a new utility frontier, such as [U.
In a pluralistic society these choices--believed to be appropriate public decisions as long as they were perceived as scientific--are seen as more appropriately left to private choice once they are perceived as religious or cultural value judgments.
The reasoning that led to the selection of June 12 will never be ineluctably settled for the reason that the element of value judgment has been exercised, is being exercised, and will be exercised by as many who can talk or write about their personal preference.
It is sometimes alleged that the claim of optimum allocation has a purely technical meaning in economics, and that it has nothing necessarily to do with a value judgment of good or best.
The Declaration of Independence is a value judgment.
When one understands the basis behind the decision, even though it may run contrary to one's own thinking, one is less likely to make a value judgment about the individual.
The choice between preventing thousands of potentially fatal IPD [invasive pneumococcal disease] episodes compared to millions of milder but far more prevalent otitis [inflammation of the middle ear] media episodes is inherently a subjective value judgment," the report said.
Gallagher's character is a smoker and a nonmonogamous gay man who doesn't always practice safe sex, meaning the physician conducting the interview had to offer medical advice without imposing a value judgment.
Is this the product of old-fashioned aestheticism ("Beauty can be found in anything"), or of a vulnerability that creates an open basis for value judgment, by way of a literalism meant to install no power relationships between things?