Critics of the ideal of value‐free science often assume that they must reject the distinction between epistemic and nonepistemic values. I argue that this assumption is mistaken and that the distinction can be used to clarify and defend the argument from inductive risk, which challenges the value‐free ideal. I develop the idea that the characteristic feature of epistemic values is that they promote, either intrinsically or extrinsically, the attainment of truths. This proposal is shown to answer common objections to the distinction and provide a principled basis for separating legitimate from illegitimate influences of nonepistemic values in scientific inference. *Received June 2009; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: 503 S. Kedzie Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824‐1032; e‐mail: [email protected].