The authors use the tools of philosophy and the insights from evaluation practice to cut through current confusion about values and the interplay of facts and values. Four views of facts and values in evaluation are analyzed: those rooted in a fact-value dichotomy and those of radical constructivists, postmodernists, and deliberative democrats. The arguments are tough, the prose concise, and the insights compelling.
How evaluators arrive at evaluative conclusions legitimately? Drawing on Scriven's (1980, 1991) formulation, the basic proposition for evaluation is “X is good (bad),” or its derivatives, “X is better (worse) than Y” or “X is worth this much” or “These parts of X are good.” Sometimes the evaluative conclusion ...