The Collapse Of The Fact/Value Dichotomy And Other Essays / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$23.00
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.68
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 40%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $13.68   
  • New (7) from $16.83   
  • Used (4) from $13.54   

Overview

If philosophy has any business in the world, it is the clarification of our thinking and the clearing away of ideas that cloud the mind. In this book, one of the world's preeminent philosophers takes issue with an idea that has found an all-too-prominent place in popular culture and philosophical thought: the idea that while factual claims can be rationally established or refuted, claims about value are wholly subjective, not capable of being rationally argued for or against. Although it is on occasion important and useful to distinguish between factual claims and value judgments, the distinction becomes, Hilary Putnam argues, positively harmful when identified with a dichotomy between the objective and the purely "subjective."

Putnam explores the arguments that led so much of the analytic philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology to become openly hostile to the idea that talk of value and human flourishing can be right or wrong, rational or irrational; and by which, following philosophy, social sciences such as economics have fallen victim to the bankrupt metaphysics of Logical Positivism. Tracing the problem back to Hume's conception of a "matter of fact" as well as to Kant's distinction between "analytic" and "synthetic" judgments, Putnam identifies a path forward in the work of Amartya Sen. Lively, concise, and wise, his book prepares the way for a renewed mutual fruition of philosophy and the social sciences.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Martha Nussbaum
In this bold, energetic, and extensive work, Putnam undertakes a revitalization of philosophy. He wants to put philosophy back in touch with the 'human issues which it has always been philosophy's highest goal to articulate'...This is exciting and engaging stuff, and anyone with an interest in philosophy, at whatever level, will enjoy it and learn from it.
Charles Taylor
This is an excellent collection on a very important issue...These are also very useful contributions, because they guide the reader, particularly the general reader, who is not an expert in either philosophy or science or economics, around the issue, so that one sees its contours, what connects with what, how it ramifies out through different disciplines. The collection as a whole thus fulfils two rather different functions: (a) bringing new and original arguments to bear against the erroneous thesis that there is a dichotomy between fact and value, and (b) guiding the reader around the contours of the issue and pointing to interesting relevant arguments developed elsewhere by others.
Library Journal
Hume's and much 20th-century moral philosophy contrasted moral with factual judgments and led people to conclude that the former, unlike the latter, are subjective in the sense of not being rationally supportable. Putnam (philosophy, emeritus, Harvard) believes that the contrast is ill conceived and that the conclusion is both unwarranted and false. He acknowledges the usefulness of the fact/value distinction but denies that anything metaphysical follows from it. Indeed, he goes so far as to assert that knowledge of facts presupposes knowledge of values. He grounds his argument in Amartya Sen's discussions of non-self interested human motives and of "capabilities" people rationally value and enjoy freely exercising. Putnam covers such matters as imperative logic, economics vis- -vis ethics, and preference theory and such thinkers as V. Walsh, L. Robbins, and R.M. Hare. A fine philosophical workout for attentive readers.-Robert Hoffman, York Coll. of CUNY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674013803
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Edition description: First Harvard University Press Paperback
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 206
  • Sales rank: 963,962
  • Product dimensions: 0.47 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilary Putnam is Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
I The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy
1 The Empiricist Background 7
2 The Entanglement of Fact and Value 28
3 Fact and Value in the World of Amartya Sen 46
II Rationality and Value
4 Sen's "Prescriptivist" Beginnings 67
5 On the Rationality of Preferences 79
6 Are Values Made or Discovered? 96
7 Values and Norms 111
8 The Philosophers of Science's Evasion of Values 135
Notes 147
Index 183
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)