Volume 2, Issue 2, 2002
Putnam on the Fact-Value Dichotomy
In Reason, Truth and History and certain related writings, Hilary Putnam attacked the fact-value distinction. This paper criticizes his arguments and defends the distinction. Putnam claims that factual statements presuppose values, that “the empirical world depends upon our criteria of rational acceptability,” and that “we must have criteria of rational acceptability to even have an empirical world.” The present paper argues that these claims are mistaken.