American Political Science Review
Is the fact/value distinction incompatible with the possibility of a social science which is both objective and evaluative (or normative)? Does support of the latter require rejection of the former and vice versa? This article presents an indirect argument against the incompatibility of the fact/value distinction and an objectively evaluative social science. My procedure is to show that David Hume, whose is/ought distinction is the locus classicus of the fact/value distinction, is committed both to the view that values cannot be derived from facts and to the view that social science is not (and should not be) value-neutral. Furthermore, Hume's position is free from any logical flaws. My conclusion is that it is false to say that the fact/value distinction entails a value-neutral social science, and that it is therefore utterly unnecessary for critics of such a science to waste their time attempting to "bridge the gap" between facts and values.
© 1980 by the American Political Science Association. Available on publisher's site at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1955647.
Salkever, Stephen G. "'Cool Reflexion' and the Criticism of Values: Is, Ought, and Objectivity in Hume's Social Science." American Political Science Review 74 (1980): 70-77.