The Inseparability of Science and Values1
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.
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