Axiological Neutrality or Axiological Engagement?

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
RC16 Sociological Theory (host committee)

Language: English

As professional sociologists, we all know the meaning, the sense and the relevance of Max Weber´s doctrine of axiological neutrality (Wertfreiheit). Since its original formulation in 1917, the doctrine of ethical neutrality has often been contested. Recent developments in philosophy and sociology have questioned the possibility of an all too neat separation of fact and values. Phenomenologists, ethnomethodologists, hermeneuticians, pragmatists and analytical philosophers have amply shown that facts are not only theory- but also value-laden. One cannot properly describe facts without judging them. Poststructuralists, postcolonialists, feminists, critical theorists and adepts of the “Studies” have questioned not only the possibility, but also the desirability of neutrality within the human sciences. In this panel, we invite established social theorists to revisit the Weberian doxa.
Session Organizers:
Frederic VANDENBERGHE, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Philip GORSKI, Yale University, USA
Oral Presentations
Critical Realism and Critical Theory: Toward a Non-Arbitrary Ethics
George STEINMETZ, University of Michigan, USA
Observing Facts and Values
Stephan FUCHS, university of virginia, USA
A New Framework for Evaluation in the Social Sciences
Terry LEAHY, University of Newcastle. Australia, Australia
Weber, Post-Truth Politics and the Complicity of Social Science
Will LEGGETT, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
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