Concepts, Values, and Scientific Measurements

  • Pierluigi Barrotta
Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 16)


Whereas in the first chapter I explained the illegitimate use of Hume’s ‘law’ in defence of value-free science, in this chapter we will begin to see positive arguments showing why science is not morally neutral. At least in some cases, moral values determine the meaning of the descriptive terms used in science. These terms, therefore, are both descriptive and evaluative. To understand this statement, I will explain the nature of the pragmatic maxim, by which the meaning of all concepts is established. The chapter concludes with an analysis of cognitive or epistemic values.


Biodiversity Capabilities Entanglement (see fact/value dualism) Fact/value dualism, Hume’s fork Meaning (m. of objects, m. of ideas, connotation, denotation, see pragmatic maxim) Philosophical fallacy Pragmatic maxim Science (pure and applied; as an activity vs. as a system of assertions) Species Technology (language as a t.) Thick and thin Concepts Value-free science Values (moral, cognitive) Welfare economics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Barrotta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civilizations and Forms of KnowledgeUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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