European Journal for Philosophy of Science

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 207–220

In defence of the value free ideal

Original Paper in Philosophy of Science

DOI: 10.1007/s13194-012-0062-x

Cite this article as:
Betz, G. Euro Jnl Phil Sci (2013) 3: 207. doi:10.1007/s13194-012-0062-x


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).


Value free science Inductive risks Uncertainty Scientific policy advice Climate science IPCC 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations