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Value judgments in social science

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-R040-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

Leading theorists in the social sciences have insisted that value judgments should be strictly separated from scientific judgments, which should be value-free. Yet these same thinkers recognize that social scientists are often committed to values in carrying out their work and may be motivated by moral goals of removing or remedying social conditions. From this perspective, scientific conclusions (one sort of fact) and moral commitments (one sort of value) are intertwined in scientific practices, and the question arises whether a social scientist qua scientist makes value judgments or only makes such judgments in a nonscientific capacity. Related questions concern the role played by moral, social, and political values in the pursuit of scientific knowledge and the impact of these values on scientific theories and methods.

Citing this article:
Beauchamp, Tom L.. Value judgments in social science, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-R040-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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