Poincaré's Conception of the Relation between Science and Morality

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
Poincaré's Conception of the Relation between Science and Morality

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French philosopher Henri Poincare is not very consistent in the matter of the impossibility of deriving an Ought from an Is (norms from is-statements). He wants to defend science against the reproach of immorality; and in doing so, he ascribes a moral function to science. At the end of his essay he comes to the conclusion that ‘there is not, and cannot be, any scientific morality in the strict sense of the word’, but adds: ‘but science can be indirectly a helpmate of morality; science in the broad sense cannot but serve morality’. His justification for this function of science is the claim that a man of science is filled with love for the truth.

Keywords: Henri Poincare; science and morality; immorality; scientific morality; truth; is-statements

Chapter.  1105 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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