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Max Weber thought that statements of fact are one thing statements of value another and any confusing of the two is impermissible Ralf Dahrendorf writes in his essay Max Weber and Modern Social Science as he acknowledges that Weber clarified the difference between pronouncements of fact and of value 1 Although Dahrendorf goes on to note the ambiguities in Webers writings between factual analysis and value-influenced pronouncements he stops short of offering an explanation for them other than to say that Weber being human could not always live with his own demands for objectivity Indeed Dahrendorf leaves unclear exactly what Webers view of objectivity was More specifically Dahrendorf does not venture to lay out a detailed explanation of whether Weber believed that the social scientist could eliminate the influence of values from the analysis of facts Did Weber believe that even though facts are one thing and values another social and economic facts could be evaluated without the analysis being influenced by values And what is the relation of objectivity to values Could objectivity for instance be used to show that one value is superior to another Or does objectivity apply only to the analysis of facts Do ones values or perspective stem from human nature metaphysical views personal identity or is it just as likely that they are a mere construct of culture These questions and others like them underlie much that has been considered ambiguous in Max Webers writings His methodology Since his death sociologists and political scientists have been disputing where Weber stood with regard to questions concerning the relationship of objectivity to facts and values Most of Webers commentators Edward Bryan Portis writes have assumed his advocacy of the fact-value dichotomy despite his explicit and implicit assertions to the contrary because of his numerous statements denying the ability of science to refute any normative position or to help one choose among contending normative orientations 2 Indeed hardly a scholarly
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