1991 Volume 45 Issue 3 Pages 143-153
As to value-judgement, Max Weber says that the question accessible to scientific analysis is to ask the appropriateness of the means for achieving the given end. The assumption of“given end”is called by him“Wertfreiheit”. The end or its underlying value-postulate, according to Weber, is“subjective”in origin and it is justified only by those who hold it, so that its justification is undiscussible on scientific point of view. G. Myrdal also, concerning measures of economic policy, takes ends or values as hypothetically given. Karl Popper afterwards refers to Weber's“Wertfreiheit”and rejects the assumption of“given ends”. Although he also admits the subjectivity of values, specially values pluralizing in respect to belief-freedom, he puts emphasis on a clash of interests resulted from the confronting values, such as between the freedom of a piano-player and the freedom of his neighbour's desire to sleep: the clash of interests, which cannot be left undiscussible. Thus the dispute about the word value-freedom shows that it is interpreted in two ways as follows.
(1) to be free from values: (i)“subjective”origin undiscussible, (ii) to reject“objective”pretended to evade from“subjective”.
(2) to believe values freely: (i) confronted effects discussible, (ii) to reject“monistic”pretended to evade from“pluralistic”.
(1) and (2) are complementary concerning (i), and synonymous concerning (ii). To join (1) and (2) together, the word“value-freedom”may be interpreted in a wider sense, including both Weber's subjectivity as well as Popper's pluralism.