In defence of the value free ideal

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):207-220 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The ideal of value free science states that the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values. It has been criticized on the grounds that scientists have to employ moral judgements in managing inductive risks. The paper seeks to defuse this methodological critique. Allegedly value-laden decisions can be systematically avoided, it argues, by making uncertainties explicit and articulating findings carefully. Such careful uncertainty articulation, understood as a methodological strategy, is exemplified by the current practice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,593

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sisyphean Science: Why Value Freedom is Worth Pursuing.Tarun Menon & Jacob Stegenga - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (48):1-24.
Why We Should Not Reject the Value-Free Ideal of Science.Robert Hudson - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (2):167-191.


Added to PP

822 (#20,400)

6 months
72 (#81,709)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Gregor Betz
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

A new direction for science and values.Daniel J. Hicks - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3271-95.
A Taxonomy of Transparency in Science.Kevin C. Elliott - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):342-355.
Distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate values in climate modeling.Kristen Intemann - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (2):217-232.
On value-laden science.Zina B. Ward - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:54-62.

View all 110 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Ethics and the limits of philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Fate of Knowledge.Helen E. Longino - 2001 - Princeton University Press.

View all 34 references / Add more references