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Merging articles? Bad logic


I don't know why you would want to say that the Fact-Value Distinction is less known, or should be collapsed into 'Is-ought', you got things backwards, really. This article is out on the Internet in many non-wiki encyclopededia, (just do a google search to see) so it has value and should remain as such. The article is directly related to Ruth Ann Putnam's articles with the same title. If people want to expand it- fine- but to merge it is to deprive the work of a useful article, that carries much more currency than just 'Is-ought'. --Mikerussell 16:53, 2005 August 9 (UTC)

I think it would be helpful if this article, and the Is-ought problem article, had links to one another. --saulkaiserman 16:20, 2006 February 22

why not just add it, as see also, which I did. But to be honest, that article is not very shrply written, it starts with this phrase "seems to be a big difference" between Is and Ought statements. Somebody could probably do a better job describing and explaining what this 'big difference' is. Long time since I read Hume's primary works, but I doubt he used the term 'big difference' --Mikerussell 15:19, 26 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

I see no difference between the is-ought problem and the fact-value distinction; they're very slightly different ways of referring to an identical problem. A fact is an is-statement. A value is an ought-statement. Both articles cover the problems of deriving a value (ought-statement) from a fact, (is-statement,) and a well-written encyclopedia article on one should be almost identical to one on the other. (With perhaps some differences in information about historical usage.) Both articles are quite rambly and unencyclopedic - I'll try to clean one up, but before starting I think it's worth deciding which one, to keep. Inebriatedonkey 09:56, 28 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

yes the two debates directly correspond, is to fact and ought to value, but to be really clear, one debate is the converse of the other, the is-ought problem/fallacy is the conflation of is and ought, and the fact value distinction is the distinction of fact and value, one debate emphasises the error of conflation, the other the appropriateness of distinction.

The naturalistic fallacy refers to a faulty belief people make that VALUES can be deduced from FACTS or vice versa, not what the recent editor was suggesting in the text, "confusing the fact-value distinction". Maybe more should be added to that section to make things clearer, but all one really has to do is hyperlink to the Naturalistic fallacy article to get an idea. The 'Fallacy' part is the idea throughout history, peoples thought values were determined by facts or science, which the fact-value distinction does away with- or is the intellectual 'cure' for that misguided belief, at least according to those who subscribe to the fact-value distinction. The 'Natural" part of the concept refers to the fact that peoples who did not understand the F-V distinction thought that values could be found 'in nature' or that Natural Law was a philosophically sound concept. This why Hume is called a skeptic- for he and others came to undermine the centuries old belief, found most plainly in Christian theology and philosophy since St. Augustine through Luther, Calvin and Hooker, that a rational examination of nature could produce a natural order or law applicable everywhere and always --Mikerussell 22:32, 25 February 2006 (UTC)--Mikerussell 22:13, 25 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

OK, but the DISTINCTION is not a FALLACY. Making the distinction is not fallacious; confusing it is. Let's try to say it correctly, and not just revert to the previous error.

WRONG, you cannot interject your own opinion into the article. This a black and white thing, the very definition of the fact-value distinction is that it is a FALLACY. If you disagree- so what? The concept, centuries old say it is fallacious. Have you consulted the texts that are cited in the bibliography? (Putnam's especially) If you want to start another article about how you think Facts and Values do exist independently, and people just confuse them at times, then do so; however, this is the very thing that marks the concept in distinction to modern social science. If you cannot grasp this don't try to ruin a valid article. The fact-value distinction and/or Naturalistic Fallacy does not refer to CONFUSING facts and values- rather it says facts and values DO NOT EXIST INDEPENDENTLY, they are not natural, but constructions created for particuliar purposes in particuliar times and places and the use of these terms mask a deeper appreciation for the actual ground of human understanding. Whether or not most people recognize this, or even most social scientists teach this (which of course they don't since it would call into question much of their research and approach to understanding the phenmena they study) is irrelevant to this point. Sorry if I am overbearing but this article is completely useless if you consistently try to re-interpret the concept to fit your limited opinion. Whether this is true, you can argue in philosophy, but it is a valid concept centuries old and has a place here. --Mikerussell 16:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

be consistent the distinction is not a fallacy, the distinction is a fallacy. the distinction, is not a fallacy. a distinction is not a confusion, it is a distinction.

I agree with the previous editor, although perhaps not with his or her wording; the naturalistic fallacy and the distinction between facts and values are not the same thing. For one thing, the naturalistic fallacy is a certain step within a line of reasoning where one comes to a normative conclusion based on some assumed connection or equivalence between the "natural" and the "good" (in addition to any other antecedents); the supposed fallacy lies in accepting that presupposed connection. The fact-value distinction, on the other hand, is merely the claim that statements about fact are inherently non-normative, whereas statements about value are normative. It's a separate claim entirely; one could prove the falsity of the naturalistic fallacy by assuming the truth of the fact-value distinction, and one could refute the claim that the naturalistic fallacy is a fallacy by denying the fact-value distinction. Since either view can be true while the other is false, the two views are not equivalent.Clay 17:15, 11 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]



The first definition ("The fact-value distinction is a concept used to distinguish between arguments which can be claimed through reason alone, and those where rationality is limited to describing a collective opinion.") is PoV and must therefore be changed. Velho 02:42, 27 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

You will need to explain your comments more fully, at least for the benefit of me. In all honesty, I think there is not a shred of POV in the definition, it is widely accepted as the definition of the fact-value distinction. I am perplexed at the comment? I don't think it needs to be changed in the slightest. Please explain your comment.--Mikerussell 05:20, 3 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Hi! Sorry for the delay! The assertion that, regarding value, "rationality is limited to describing a collective opinion" is commited to one of the several "relativisms" and/or to one of the several "anti-realisms" in value matters. See, for instance (!), Raz's more or less recent The Practice of Value: Berkeley Tanner Lectures (Joseph Raz, et al, Clarendon Press, 2003); or Putnam's The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays (Harvard University Press, 2002); or SEP's's article on moral reasoning. It also confounds descriptive and "normative" perspectives of value.
The assertion that arguments of fact "can be claimed through reason alone" seems to me pre-Kantianly wrong.
Best, Velho 04:59, 4 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Velho PoV issues


Quite frankly, I don't think we are on the same page with this, so I welcome you to alter the article- or anybody else too- if you see where your improvements or additions will remedy what you consider to be POV. As I read your remarks, you seem to be taking this article as scientific proof of the difference, as opposed to describing the basic concept as contructed over recent centuries. There is a big difference between PoV writing on wikipedia, and scientific or philosophic disagreement. Your assertion:

"rationality is limited to describing a collective opinion" is commited to one of the several "relativisms" and/or to one of the several "anti-realisms" in value matters.

is quite correct. But how is that PoV, especially if wikipedia has an article on relativism? "rationality is limited to describing a collective opinion" is relativism. So what? Whether relativism is valid or true, is quite frankly, another matter altogether and beyond the scope of a wikipedia article. I think your claims to Kantian philosophy, and your use of words like 'Moral Philosophy' and 'Moral Reasoning' completely miss the point of the article. I am reminded of the disagreement between Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger when the former told the ladder to write an ethics for Being and Time and Heidegger correctly stated that it was a complete impossibility to write an 'ethics'. Rather than pre-Kantian, I think your comments are post-Kantianly wrong. The issue of relativism involves the implicit claim made to matters believed to be (wrongly or not) "claimed through reason alone". 'Morality' itself would NOT speak to an article about the fact-value distintinction. As far as Putnam is concerned, I have no knowledge of him- this Hilary person, the sources cited are from a woman named Ruth Ann Putnam who I believe teaches at MIT in Boston. Your Stanford source is not useful or applicable to my mind especially when it begins a topic line as Moral reasoning is individual or collective practical reasoning about what, morally, one ought to do.SEP's's article on moral reasoning. That whole article is inapplicable, it already is written from an ignorance of the fact-value distinction, the mere use of the word 'moral', let alone the rather quaint subheadings like: How Can We Reason, Morally, With One Another?

if something is not philosophically justified, then it is PoV.

So we are not on the same page here. I suggest you try to edit the article, it is all well and good to claim something is PoV and then cite your sources, it is quite another to actually assimilate the sources and edit the article accordingly. I would be really interested to see how such an edit would improve and/or expand the current article. However, I would just say that the article in about the Fact-value distinction and not Facts and Values per se. Oh well, lunch is over and I must return to wage-earning activities (which I dearly love- in case my boss is surveilling my computer use).--Mikerussell 18:10, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Merge Tag II


This tag has been up twice and no comment has been offered. I imagine if 90 days pass, it is useful to withdraw the tag. I suspect it is not likely to be merged easily and thus can stand as is. --Mikerussell 16:38, 29 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

User:Clayness references asked for


User:Clayness added some Fact/Cite{{Fact}} tags and I tried to find some relevent quotes to mediate his concerns, although it is a little difficult to cite the references to Plato. I mean the Republic- in total could be used as a cite for the last sentence

"Plato tried to define philosophy as a search for truth, a search for what is; this 'value' precedes any 'fact."

The Republic begins with a concern for defining/finding Justice, defined in two very different ways, the first seems to be like the 'value' of justice, or a 'moral' conception of justice- one that the Sophist Thrasymachus tries to attribute to Socrates and thus is the reason why he is so hostile to Socrates, but as it proves out, that definition of justice is not really at all what justice is by the end of the dialogue, and it certainly is never endorsed by Socrates- the sophist blushes when he relaizes this where others in the group don't pick up on it as quickly. In a way the dialogue begins with trying to define and defend justice but shifts rather remarkably to defining what a philosopher is, and thus what philosophy is. This is the very reason for reading the book and I suspect some people may think what I have added as references are hard to assimilate, although they are fairly famous quotes from the Republic. Soem readers themselves may just be too used having a reference being like 'Joe Blow author says Plato didn;t understand this or that'. At any rate, I think Clayness is right about the article needing more references to support the explanations and maybe I will add some more shortly. I have not read Putnam's articles for a long time now and may be able to access the actual articles and bring a stronger more exact support from her articles.--Mikerussell 06:01, 23 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Fact-value problem


Hello. It seems to me as if this section needs some work. The logic itself seems like it needs work, but when I read this section it comes across to me as if the criticisms are true and thus the Fact-value distinction is completely false. Perhaps removing some of the opinion/original research and putting more citations on the statements is called for. BrokeApart 07:53, 9 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The whole point of the article is to say the Fact-Value Distinction is FALSE. That's the section. If the logic is faulty it is only because the premise is untrue. That's the point of the article. I am not certain your suggestion below makes much sense...

"when I read this section it comes across to me as if the criticisms are true and thus the Fact-value distinction is completely false."

...when the article is trying to do exactly what you seem to think is illogical. There are but 3 paragraphs, all cited, so any original research seems to be removed. This is developing as a theme to the DISCUSSION page here, persons are convinced the Fact-Value Distinction is beyong question- and thus read this page and keep thinking, ummm, well it's true isn't it? No, the whole argument says it is false. Sources are cited to support it. By all means take a crack at adding to it, the article is open to immediate edits by any person with valid points. Now, if you think Facts and Values are seperate independent entities, or categories of the human mind, then by all means add to the debate by including any valid arguments.--Mikerussell 15:19, 23 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]
The first paragraph is the main paragraph of the section, giving the general idea of the "Fact-Value Problem". It brings in the latter two paragraphs in order to support an example in the first paragraph, and it cites those, but the main idea (that there are two problems with the Fact-Value distinction) is still original research (or, at least, hasn't been cited for). It hasn't actually supported, in any way, that there is any controversy over the subject. Furthermore, the first paragraph presents the viewpoint that the Fact-Value distinction is wrong as immutable fact, rather than simply presenting it as a question debated by philosophers. Mordechai4 02:17, 16 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with this. There seem to be some citations, but the citations aren't relevant to the main idea of the section (which, as the author of the section pointed out above, is to show that the fact-value distinction is categorically false, which probably doesn't conform to a neutral viewpoint). Basically, the statement

Firstly, the idea itself is not self-sufficient. The concept required great genius to arise, and there were particular political and historical conditions which contributed to its emergence. Therefore, its truth is of question. Secondly, the blind use of the concept distorts the very tradition whence it came. Thus the origin of 'facts' and 'values', or philosophy, is obscured from view.

isn't sourced at all as being the least bit relevant, isn't sourced as being anything said by actual philosophers during the debate, and seems on its face to be very irrelevant: Why would its truth value be in question simply because it required genius during a specific period of time? The phrase 'distorts the very tradition whence it came' seems to be an empty normative statement that wouldn't impact the truth value of anything at all: Which would be fine if real philosophers were saying it, but no citation has been made as to where this line of reasoning has ever been used anywhere. Also, it is phrased as if the fact-value distinction is simply wrong (again, the author of the section has stated that this was his intention), which seems to be a violation of NPOV. The example that is given also seems to be irrelevant: How does the question of whether Plato understood or did not understand the fact-values distinction speak at all to anything regarding a supposed 'Fact-values problem'? The basic reasoning of the section itself seems to be incorrect as well: It puts forth a fact-values distinction, saying that a certain fact was arrived to because scientists held a certain value, which is basically restating Hume's theory of motivation. Again, though, this would all be fine if these arguments were put forth by philosophers, but no evidence has been given to that effect: The only citations in the section have to do with the question of Plato's understanding, which doesn't at all support the thesis (a non-neutral thesis that doesn't have a place in the article anyway) that the fact-values distinction is simply FALSE, as mikerussel seems to wish to push. Therefore, because 1) The main thesis of the section is not supported, 2) No evidence has been given that the thesis of the section is a line of reasoning pursued by philosophers, 3) It doesn't really seem to be speaking about a 'fact-values problem', but rather it speaks to such vagueries as 'It required genius to see, therefore we must question its truth value!' and 'It distrots the tradition from whence it came!', 4) The example is irrelevant, and 5) It violates WP:NPOV anyway in its present form...Reverting Mordechai4's changes as vandalism seems wholly unwarranted. Rather, it seems like more examination as to the relevance of the section is merited. Username5217 03:39, 16 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]
The above is all original research. What philosophers have you cited in the above arguement? It is just your own opinion, whomever you are. If the above was placed in the article, it would be OR. I would hardly call the deletion as vandalism, but it is evidence of a failure to understand the point. I took down the tags after reading the above statements, which are more and more to my mind just meritless personal speculations, especially when they are on about "seems to be an empty normative statement that wouldn't impact the truth value of anything at all: Which would be fine if real philosophers were saying it," which is complete missing the point in front of them. Philosophers are saying it. Look at Heidgger's What is Metaphysics?. If I had more time I would get a quotes- and hopefully I will do that in the future. But there are so many instances of his criticism of the F-V distinction throughout his writings, it is hard to take seriously that I am inventing some OR. I wish I had made it up myself but I cannot take credit for Putnam's work, Leo Strauss' work and Martin Heidegger's. Allan Bloom also cites this distinction made by Heiddegger, and I should find more quotes from him too.
I agree the article needs improvement and expansion. A tag at the top to try to generate discussion as opposed to misunderstandings and mass deletion is good. Username5217 has little record of contributions and I cannot help but wondering his/her qualifications or background. It seems very unfair to say that Daryl Rice is not a valid philosopher, the section in question deals squarely with Rice's book, where he discusses the Fact-Value Distinction and Plato, those two things seem worthy of mention in his book, thus I regard it as worthy of attention here. There are several sources- philophers all- modern and ancient- cited. I reject the notion that if the presentation of this concept is any way POV. It is only trying to go beyond the definition and it has to be presented before it can be criticized. To write about Hitlker's racist theories you mention them firstly, then comment on their weakness and vicious implications. Same thing here I think. There has to be criticism worthy of including and the tone ofthe article itself needs improvement. But deletion is just frustrated censoring. --Mikerussell 13:42, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]



Are facts and values distinct? First, let us define the two terms. A fact is generally an accurate description of something, and less usually, the thing which is thus described. For example, it is a fact that the computer I am typing this on has a black keyboard (as of the time I write this). Facts may be evaluated through observation or other objective methods as either true or false, and thus are in the realm of logic. A value is a bit harder to describe, but I can give examples galore. "Death is bad, and therefore we should avoid it." "Pain is good; it reminds us we're alive." "Copyright laws stifle creativity." This category of statements is impossible to describe without bringing into play a second duality: good or bad. At this point, you must realize that you personally have an opinion about "good or bad". You may consider them objective or subjective. You may consider them equivalent to "right and wrong" or "good and evil". Your personal ontology comes into play here -- your view of what categories of things exist, and how they interact. I consider "good or bad" to be in the realm of the emotional, "wise or foolish" to be in the philosophical realm (a junction of the logical and emotional), and "right or wrong" to be in the moral realm (a junction of logical, emotional and physical). Since the two last realms I just mentioned (the philosophical and the moral) include the emotional, values can be found there, too. Now, I defined "true or false" to be the concern of logic. My distinction depends on defining logic as something inherently different than emotion. This is not to say they cannot coexist; philosophy would be mere mind games if the emotional were not part of it, and it would be an unresolvable mass of arguing without logic. Law is nothing without both values and truth. The part of this that may be hardest to swallow is that, though emotions may be shared within a community or an entire nation, they are inherently subjective. Thus values, which cannot exist without emotions, are inherently subjective and personal, and as such, distinct from truth. That is to say, values may contain truth, but they also contain emotion, without which they cannot exist. And thus they are distinct. -- 20:27, 2 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Indepent of how true or factual your argument it is considered Original Research by wikipedia rules and therefore it may not be used on wikipedia, according to wikipedia's values and rules. C mon 20:46, 2 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The fact-value problem revisited


This below section is not sourced and appears to be an opinion, as it is not attributed to any expert(s) in the field. It either needs to be removed, sourced or attributed to expert(s):

The problem of the unexamined acceptance of the fact-value distinction is two-fold. Firstly, the idea itself is not self-sufficient. The concept required great genius to arise, and there were particular political and historical conditions which contributed to its emergence. Therefore, its truth is of question. Secondly, the blind use of the concept distorts the very tradition whence it came. Thus the origin of 'facts' and 'values', or philosophy, is obscured from view. An example is found when Plato is examined by modern philosophers.

It is an excellent section, so I hope it can be sourced rather than removed. I know nothing of the actual subjest, so I can not improve upon it and would not know where to get a source. J. D. Hunt (talk) 00:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]



My understanding of the "fact-value distinction" is clearly distinct from the "is-ought distinction," which is what the article, as written, immediately suggests to me.

The "fact-value distinction," as defined in the glossary "The Re-Enchantment of the World" (by [Morris Berman],) is: "Consciousness of the modern scientific era, according to which the good and the true are not necessarily related; value or meaning cannot be derived from data or empirical knowledge."

Is-Ought Distinction: A philosophical argument play, that goes as such: "Yes, but your argument about what ought to be cannot rest in what is."

Fact-Value Distinction: Once upon a time, people believed that nature was not separate at all from life or God or soul or spirit or mind or the good or what have you. For example, scientists and theologians were the same people, or, more primitively, magic and the natural world were not imagined to be distinct things. If you were studying nature, you were studying into the heart of all that is good. Books on zoology, for example, would describe the animals, and what their lessons to humankind are, as given from God.

Then, a fact-value distinction arose. What was naturally true was seen to be completely different than what was of value.

Is-ought rests on this distinction. Fact-value recalls a time of enchantment, when it was not even imagined.

LionKimbro (talk)

I have a PhD in philosophy from a legitimate institution and I teach philosophy to college students who read the wiki and think it's true. The fact-value distinction is legitimate and accepted as part a central part of contemporary analytic philosophy (merely because professional philosophers argue about subtleties and concepts DOES NOT mean that you can conclude from one person's book/article that the entire area of research is bunk). The fact - value distinction is NOT the same thing as the "naturalistic fallacy." Further, the N. F. Fallacy as described by GE Moore is NOT what the average college student in critical thinking is looking for (though it SHOULD be mentioned). The is-ought problem, as Hume presented it (also the Humean Gap), is about distinguishing the conclusions of reason from the passions/emotions which is where our moral reasoning arise from. This is where the naturalistic fallacy as we generally discuss it arises from. In common usage the N.F. is the fallacy of concluding that, because things are such and such a way in nature, they ought, morally, to be that way.

If you don't understand what you read, don't presume to teach others. Professional, analytic philosophy (i.e. Putnam) should not be commented on by non-professional philosophers in a forum like this, and those who are unfamiliar with the history of philosophy and the different branches and discussions that abound in it SHOULD NOT be writing wiki pages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 9 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I'm not sure if I'm commenting in the right way: I don't tend to write on talk pages. Anyway, I'm a professional philosopher, and I just wanted to note that this article seems really confused to me (and especially the introductory section, which is almost incomprehensible). The fact value distinction is an ontological distinction (a distinction about the way things are) between (the nature of) facts and (the nature of) values. In other words, insisting on the distinction, as is commonly done, means insisting that 'facts' are different sorts of things as 'values'. This is very closely related to the 'is/ought problem' popularised by Hume which claims that we cannot derive ought-type statements from is-type facts. For instance, if one says 'one ought not to eat grannies' (ought-type statement) and grounds (justifies) that claim on an is-type fact like 'eating grannies will make grandpa's sad' then this won't resolve the issue but will just raise a further ought-type question (why should we avoid making grandpa's sad?). While the claim that there is some sort of ontological distinction between 'facts' and 'values' is widely (but not universally) accepted, Hume's claim of the precise relation of facts (is-s) to certain kinds of values (oughts) is more controversial (though also a prominent position). So that's the difference: 'fact-value distinction' claims there is a distinction, and is widely accepted. 'is/ought' problem says you can't draw oughts from is-s, and is more controversial. Lastly, the relation of all of this to the naturalistic fallacy (the NF). The NF claims that it is fallacious to say that because something is natural, it is good (or because it is not natural, it is bad). For instance, the claim 'being naked in public in the summer is natural, so it is good' is, according to the NF, a fallacious argument. Note that the NF takes its force from the is/ought problem, so they are closely related (to be precise, the NF so defined is an instance of the 'is/ought problem'). Note also that the NF is an informal, not a logical fallacy. Some people use the NF more expansively to talk about all derivations of 'oughts' from 'is-s'. In other words, they would say that instances of the NF are anytime someone tries to take factual evidence to support a normative/value-based claim. When used in this more expansive sense, there is therefore little distinction between the 'is/ought problem' and the NF. Finally, given that it is controversial that the 'is/ought problem' is a problem, you can deduce that the NF fallacy's status as a fallacy is also controversial (especially in the expansive sense). A simple example will illustrate one of the aspects of the controversy. Say person A freely promises to give B some object O which they legitimately own. Many people will want to say that A now should give B O. Further, the reason A should give B O seems to many people to be that A promised to give B O. This looks like it is deriving an ought (A ought to give B O) from an is (A promised B O). (talk) 14:27, 28 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

rewrite this...


"Thus Hume is often cited as being the philosopher who finally debunked the idea of nature as a standard for political existence. For instance, without Hume, Jean Jacques Rousseau's (1712–1778) "return" to nature would have not been so revolutionary, inventive and fascinating."

Yuck. Not Encyclopedic at all. Please rewrite.

-- (talk) 16:47, 15 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

rewrite this...


"Thus Hume is often cited as being the philosopher who finally debunked the idea of nature as a standard for political existence. For instance, without Hume, Jean Jacques Rousseau's (1712–1778) "return" to nature would have not been so revolutionary, inventive and fascinating."

Yuck. Not Encyclopedic at all. Please rewrite.

Actually the entire article reads like a Freshman in philosophy used the internet to cobble together an article. Someone really needs to overhaul this article.

-- (talk) 16:51, 15 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

"Reason" does not equal values


I removed an initial statement that equated values with "arguments supported through reason alone" and facts with "arguments supported primarily by a empirical evidence."

This is inconsistent with the other descriptions of the distinctio, which are about (well...) facts vs. values. Fact pertain to states of the world (or mathematical theorems, or...) while values pertain to preferences, norms, etc. The distinction between reason and empiricism is something quite different. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:25, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

David Hume's skepticism section


From the section: "Specifically, Hume, at least to some extent, argued that religious and national hostilities that divided European society were based on unfounded beliefs. In effect, he argued they are not found in nature, but are a creation of a particular time and place, and thus unworthy of mortal conflict. Thus Hume is often cited as the philosopher who finally debunked the idea of nature as a standard for political existence. For instance, without Hume, Jean Jacques Rousseau's (1712–1778) "return" to nature would have not been possible."

Perhaps it is a fact that Hume is often cited as the philosopher who finally debunked the idea of nature as a standard for political existence, yet, I think, the conclusion "Thus Hume is often cited as the philosopher who finally debunked the idea of nature as a standard for political existence" is not obvious from the context. The context is likely to support the following: what is not found in nature that is unworthy (of mortal conflict). Moreover, here, the political and ideological faults ("religious and national hostilities," "unfounded beliefs") are those of history, "a creation of particular time and place"; in other words, the faults reside in the realm of history, not nature. Therefore, as expressed here, Hume's argument can still go with the appeal to nature--"the idea of nature as a standard for political existence." Hence within the context, it is not clear yet why it is Hume who (finally) debunked the idea. If so, I suggest editing the section by omitting the Thus from the statement, which would make it sound as that conveying a fact, not a conclusion, or modifying the context so that the conclusion could sound logically apt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Giorgikanka (talkcontribs) 15:37, 11 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Is it about two types of statements or the complete untranslatability of one kind of statement to the other?


I'm confused. If the fact-value distinction and the is-ought problem are essentially the same question (just perhaps two sides of the same question) it seems they should be merged into one article or at least the two articles should give the impression that the essential question is the same. But they don't give the impression of the essential question being the same. So are they the same question (in which case they need editing) or are they different questions?

I read the 'fact-value distinction' article a while ago, and it gave me the impression that the question is whether there is any difference between 'is' statements and 'ought' statements. Then I read the 'is-ought problem' article today, and it gave me the impression that the question is whether 'ought' statements can in any way be derived from 'is' statements. (ie, of course they are two types of statements; the question is whether there is anything translatable between the types of statements... or, perhaps better, whether there is anything in the human 'is,' e.g. a telos, that implies an 'ought;' thus making 'ought' statements a certain type of 'is' statement, but still not equivalent to the wider set of all 'is' statements).

Unless I'm making some serious mistake, surely these are two extremely different questions (the latter in fact assuming an answer to the former). So which one is it? Or is it both? Or is the former question what the fact-value distinction is about, and the latter question what the is-ought problem is about? (And if that's the case, shouldn't their names be the other way around?) (talk) 12:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Citations needed


I added the Citations Needed template because there are several important statements in the article that lack references. For example:

In particular, David Hume (1711–1776) argued that human beings are unable to ground normative arguments in positive arguments, that is, to derive ought from is.

Hume was a skeptic, and although a complex and dedicated philosopher, he shared a political viewpoint with early Enlightenment philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and John Locke (1632–1704).

Specifically, Hume, at least to some extent, argued that religious and national hostilities that divided European society were based on unfounded beliefs. In effect, Hume contended that such hostilities are not found in nature, but are a human creation, depending on a particular time and place, and thus unworthy of mortal conflict.

Nevertheless, the difference between the naturalistic fallacy and the fact–value distinction is derived from the manner in which modern social science has used the fact–value distinction...

Max Weber and Martin Heidegger absorbed it and made it their own. It shaped their philosophical endeavor, as well as their political understanding.

Virtually all modern philosophers affirm some sort of fact–value distinction, insofar as they distinguish between science and "valued" disciplines such as ethics, aesthetics, or the fine arts.

Other thinkers reject an absolutist fact–value distinction by contending that our senses are imbued with prior conceptualizations, making it impossible to have any observation that is totally value-free...

  - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 10:27, 25 September 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I removed "citations needed" template because my revision is loaded with citations.TBR-qed (talk) 15:21, 4 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

TBR-qed's article rewrite (article replacement)


At the top of this Talk page, TBR-ged noted (paraphrasing):

I am starting to replace this article, and when I finish in several days, I will welcome criticism and comment. TBR-ged 1 March 2018.

I read this article because I wanted to learn more about the fact-value distinction. (I read the revision as of 08:43, 13 March 2018.) My impression of the article: The prose flows smoothly; dense concepts are explained in a clear, concise manner; and the organization (sections based on individual philosophers) helped me understand the "conversation" among philosophers over time and continued to elucidate recondite notions. Awesome work TBR-ged. :0)

Aspects for improvement: (i) Vary the introductory sentence for each section, "Philosopher A was appalled by the irrationality of the fact-value-distinction as understood in his day." (probably on your to-do list anyway, but just in case); (ii) Each section offers concluding remarks which synthesize, compare and contrast, or summarize the philosopher's ideas and how they relate to the "conversation". These concluding remarks crystallized my understanding. However, in some instances they constitute original research. If we can retain much of what exists presently, but with reliable source citations, that would be the ideal outcome IMHO. Reviewing WP:OR and WP:SYNNOT helped me better understand the difference between summarizing and original thought.   - Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) 17:59, 13 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]


There is some issues with your new article:

  1. Introduction does not have any citations
  2. Your first sentence for David Hume, Lionel Robbins, Hilary Putnam, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jonathan Haidt and Jerry Coyne all starts the same way and it seems like it may be violation of WP:NPOV
  3. The article seems meandering, and not getting to the core of what the fact value distinction is, especially in the introduction.

Overall I'm not sure it is an improvement.

Also see response from (talk)

Soh.Miero (talk) 20:19, 7 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding general criticism of articles like this one, see also Talk:Instrumentalism/Archive 2#Original_synthesis. --Omnipaedista (talk) 15:08, 25 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Reason to restore reverted article


I have been unsuccessful in meeting critic's objections to my essay she/he reverted in May 2018. Therefore I am restoring the reverted/revised article.TBR-qed (talk) 20:49, 9 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I just read the current version of the article. Thank you for adding this information! It has obviously been a lot of hard work, and it is very helpful to have this added information. That being said, one concern I have is that the current version of the article is heavily weighted to discussing how a number of notable men have conceived of the fact-value distinction. If one compares the current version of the article to the version on 05:32, 5 December 2019‎, the version by Sd2 is more of a general summary of the fact-value distinction and focuses less on important figures. Personally, I think that a summary of the fact-value distinction is also very helpful to have, especially for those who do not have a general understanding of the topic and who just want a general overview.
For this reason, I believe we should create a new page that specifically covers how important figures have conceived of the fact-value distinction. Possible titles for this page are "Historical Conceptions of the Fact-Value Distinction" or "List of Important Figures' Conceptions of the Fact-Value Distinction". We can move the current version of this article to that page, keep this page as a general summary, and provide links to the new page for those who wish to learn more about how notable philosophers, economists, etc. have conceived of the fact-value distinction. -MWKwiki (talk) 18:30, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Induction & deduction


WP DEPENDS ON INDUCTION & DEDUCTION. THEIR MEANING SHOULD BE FIRM. This encyclopedia accepts the premise of enumerative induction that the more editors who agree on the content of an article, the more accurate and useful that content. Induction is practiced on every TALK page. Editors generalize from a few observations, and deduce concrete conclusions from their generalizations.

WP contains 4 repetitive and fragmentary articles on induction: [Inductive reasoning], [The problem of induction]; [New riddle of induction],[Inductivism]. I would like to rectify this chaotic situation by rewriting and merging these 4 articles, retaining only the reasoning title. I ask you—a participant in relevant TALK pages—to judge my rewrite/merge project: SHOULD I PROCEED? Below is the current proposed outline:

Definitions. Induction generalizes conceptually; deduction concludes empirically.

[David Hume], philosopher condemner.

[Pierre Duhem], physicist user.

[John Dewey], philosopher explainer.

[Bertrand Russell], philosopher condemner.

[Karl Popper], philosopher condemner.

Steven Sloman, psychologist explainer.

Lyle E. Bourne, Jr., psychologist user.

[Daniel Kahneman], psychologist user.

[Richard H. Thaler] economist user.

Please respond at Talk:Inductive reasoning. TBR-qed (talk) 16:16, 5 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Not encyclopedic at all


This article reads far more like an essay than an encyclopedia article. I clicked the link in another article to get a definition, only to find that there's not a definition to be found in the article, and instead just a dizzying array of people's comments on the topic, forcing the reader to figure out the meaning of the term by deduction. This seems like a perfectly reasonable essay, but it does not function as an encyclopedia article at all.

I'd change it myself, but as I came here to learn what the term means in the first place, I imagine I'd make a mess of things. (talk) 21:26, 9 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding encyclopaedia style, I find the charge that I write essays rather than encyclopedia articles vague. Unless the critic who reverted my article can quote authentic protocols distinguishing the one from the other, I will restore my article at the end of March.
Regarding definitions, I try to craft one after reading usage of the sample of experts I describe in the body of an article. This permits evaluating my definition. I doubt that there is a protocol that say encyclopaedias must quote definitions from dictionaries.TBR-qed (talk) 01:27, 11 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Please critique with precision


For several years my posts have been crticized as “personal or ”argumentative essays” stating “personal feelings” or “original arguments” incompatible with encyclopedic form. I reject these indictments, and locate my unconventionality in precise definitions (connotative, not denotative) correcting careless word usage, and introducing unpopular or ignored scholars whose exclusion perverts the neutral point of view required of encyclopedias. My choice of representative scholars makes my post argumentative, not my personal judgments.

I invite the following editors who have contributed to “Fact-value distinction” in recent years—, MWKwiki, Omnipaedista, Mark D. Worthen PsyD,, Watchman21, Arjayay, Soh.Miero,, and Jochen Burghardt—to critique precise content and/or style in my post reverted 13 Jan 2020, in order to persuade me with good reasons for my indictment. Absent that, I shall restore my reverted article in May.TBR-qed (talk) 16:38, 3 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Please read WP:SYNTH. --Omnipaedista (talk) 15:18, 17 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]