The FACT–VALUE DISTINCTION is the distinction between things that can be known to be true and things that are the personal preferences of individuals.
* 5 Criticisms
* 5.1 Functionalist counterexamples * 5.2 The recognition problem * 5.3 Moral realism
* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Bibliography
DAVID HUME\'S SKEPTICISM
The fact–value distinction emerged in philosophy in the
Enlightenment . In particular,
The fact–value distinction is closely related to the naturalistic fallacy , a topic debated in ethical and moral philosophy . G. E. Moore believed it essential to all ethical thinking. However, more recent contemporary philosophers like Phillipa Foot have called into question the validity of such assumptions. Others, such as Ruth Anna Putnam, argue that even the most "scientific" of disciplines are affected by the "values" of those who research and practice the vocation. Nevertheless, the difference between the naturalistic fallacy and the fact–value distinction is derived from the manner in which modern social science has used the fact–value distinction, and not the strict naturalistic fallacy to articulate new fields of study and create academic disciplines.
The fact–value distinction is also closely related to the moralistic fallacy , an invalid inference of factual conclusions from purely evaluative premises. For example, an invalid inference "Because everybody ought to be equal, there are no innate genetic differences between people" is an instance of the moralistic fallacy. As for the naturalistic fallacy one attempts to move from an "is" to an "ought" statement, with the moralistic fallacy one attempts to move from an "ought" to an "is" statement.
NIETZSCHE\'S TABLE OF VALUES
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) in _
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Virtually all modern philosophers affirm _some_ sort of fact–value
distinction, insofar as they distinguish between science and "valued"
disciplines such as ethics , aesthetics , or the fine arts . However,
philosophers such as
Several counterexamples have been offered by philosophers claiming to show that there are cases when an evaluative statement does indeed logically follow from a factual statement. A. N. Prior points out, from the statement "He is a sea captain," it logically follows, "He ought to do what a sea captain ought to do." Alasdair MacIntyre points out, from the statement "This watch is grossly inaccurate and irregular in time-keeping and too heavy to carry about comfortably," the evaluative conclusion validly follows, "This is a bad watch." John Searle points out, from the statement "Jones promised to pay Smith five dollars," it logically follows that "Jones ought to pay Smith five dollars." The act of promising by definition places the promiser under obligation.
THE RECOGNITION PROBLEM
There is a criticism of the concept of reason being the slave of passion based on questioning the possibility of emotion existing independently of recognition . Some critics argue that "pure" emotions on their own would be unable to recognize anything and therefore unable to tell something good from something bad, and that emotions on their own could not correct for a change in recognition.
Philippa Foot adopts a moral realist position, criticizing the idea that when evaluation is superposed on fact there has been a "committal in a new dimension". She introduces, by analogy, the practical implications of using the word "injury". Not just anything counts as an injury. There must be some impairment. When we suppose a man wants the things the injury prevents him from obtaining, haven’t we fallen into the old naturalist fallacy?
It may seem that the only way to make a necessary connexion between 'injury' and the things that are to be avoided, is to say that it is only used in an 'action-guiding sense' when applied to something the speaker intends to avoid. But we should look carefully at the crucial move in that argument, and query the suggestion that someone might happen not to want anything for which he would need the use of hands or eyes. Hands and eyes, like ears and legs, play a part in so many operations that a man could only be said not to need them if he had no wants at all.
Foot argues that the virtues, like hands and eyes in the analogy, play so large a part in so many operations that it is implausible to suppose that a committal in a non-naturalist dimension is necessary to demonstrate their goodness.
Philosophers who have supposed that actual action was required if 'good' were to be used in a sincere evaluation have got into difficulties over weakness of will, and they should surely agree that enough has been done if we can show that any man has reason to aim at virtue and avoid vice. But is this impossibly difficult if we consider the kinds of things that count as virtue and vice? Consider, for instance, the cardinal virtues, prudence, temperance, courage and justice. Obviously any man needs prudence, but does he not also need to resist the temptation of pleasure when there is harm involved? And how could it be argued that he would never need to face what was fearful for the sake of some good? It is not obvious what someone would mean if he said that temperance or courage were not good qualities, and this not because of the 'praising' sense of these words, but because of the things that courage and temperance are.
* Epistemology portal
* ^ Casimir Lewy 1965 - G.E. Moore on the naturalistic fallacy
* ^ Putnam, Ruth Anna. "Perceiving Facts and Values", _
* Hume, David . _A Treatise of Human