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Value-Free Ideal for Research: Controversies

The value-free ideal has a long and complicated history. It begins with social science’s infancy, especially the early work of Max Weber and debate over value-free (Wertfreiheit) social science. And it continues through logical empiricism, the revolutionary vision of Thomas S. Kuhn, and contemporary philosophical debate over the nature and ambitions of modern science. Woven throughout this history are questions about the nature and limits of scientific objectivity and the aims of scientific inquiry. The various positions that have emerged about the possibility of value-free research especially in the social and human sciences have been reflected in the lively debates concerning the nature of educational research that have been taking place for approximately a century; sometimes these debates have occurred in the context of ...

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