Chapter

The Inseparability of Science and Values<sup>1</sup>

John Dupré

in Processes of Life

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691982
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691982.003.0004
The Inseparability of Science and Values1

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This chapter argues against the traditional assumption that science aims to present only facts, and that its findings are entirely independent of any social, political, or ethical values of the society in which it is devised. Central to the argument is the insistence that much of language consists of terms that have both factual and evaluative content (‘thick’ terms). Purely factual language is possible, but only for describing topics about which we mostly don’t much care (mathematics, physics). The attempt to construct a language that is purely factual prevents us from talking about the things that matter to us.

Keywords: fact/value distinction; naturalistic fallacy; science and value; thick description

Chapter.  6112 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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