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Borrowed KnowledgeChaos Theory and the Challenge of Learning across Disciplines$
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Stephen H. Kellert

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226429786

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226429809.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

Facts, Values, and Intervention

Facts, Values, and Intervention

Chapter:
(p.149) 7 Facts, Values, and Intervention
Source:
Borrowed Knowledge
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226429809.003.0007

This chapter argues that scientific knowledge can contribute to answering important questions of value in that it is neither irrelevant to value inquiry nor a replacement for it. In exploring the relationship between scientific knowledge and evaluative questions, it first looks at those who characterize this relationship in terms of isolation, with a strict dichotomy between fact and value, and with science squarely on the side of facts. It spells out how we bridge the supposed logical gulf between “is” and “ought,” and argues that facts and values are not so separate after all. The second section proposes an alternative to both isolation and collapse in a pragmatic, limited form of naturalism. This position helps to articulate the contribution that scientific inquiry can make in addressing questions of value. The final section considers a number of ways that knowledge borrowed from chaos theory has been used to address evaluative issues about the role of governmental intervention in the economy. It critically examines a number of arguments about whether and how governments ought to intervene in economic and social affairs.

Keywords:   scientific knowledge, value, facts, naturalism, scientific inquiry, borrowed knowledge, chaos theory, government economic intervention

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