Public Values in the Right Context

Public Values in the Right Context

Abstract:

I am sympathetic to Avner de-Shalit’s position that a political philosophy which incorporated public values would be laudable, but I see the role that these values should play differently. More specifically, I argue that his claim reflects a confusion about where public values should be introduced. Philosophers of science standardly distinguish between values being introduced in the context of discovery (that is, inputs into the investigation or arguments) and in the context of justification (that is, acceptance or rejection of substantive claims in light of the arguments or investigation). I argue that de-Shalit is wrong to put the public values in the context of discovery; with respect to normative theories (such as political theories), the values should be introduced in the context of justification. Of interest, this placement of that value inverts the assignment philosophers of science often make to value in the scientific process.

Journal: Australasian Philosophical Review
Last updated on 09/07/2020