The Role of Values in the Natural and Social Sciences


Rui Silva


At first sight, the social sciences are much more value-laden than the natural sciences, but this point has been disputed. To analyse the problem, it is convenient to assess the significance of the main arguments for the value-ladenness of science. These arguments may be classified in three broad categories: methodological, linguistic and sociological arguments. I conclude that, although some arguments for the view that social science is value-laden apply as well to the natural sciences, there still remains a difference of degree in value-ladenness, while other arguments do not seem to be relevant to the natural sciences.