Dr Lubomira Radoilska (Philosophy) and Dr Kelli Rudolph (Classics) are organising a conference entitled ‘The Fact/Value Distinction: Contemporary and Classical Perspectives’ with generous support from the Mind Association, Aristotelian Society, Analysis Trust, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (KIASH), and Kent’s Centre for Reasoning.
The facts-value distinction animates significant debates about the nature and scope of inquiry in contemporary analytic philosophy and in the social, natural, and medical sciences. In addition, it clarifies the ultimate ambitions of a theory by asking whether it is an explanatory or a normative project.
This conference addresses the extent to which explanatory and normative objectives should be conceived as mutually exclusive, as the initial question implies or, alternatively, as intimately and helpfully intertwined.
Classical approaches to the scope and nature of inquiry conceive of the relationship between facts and values in a related but distinctive way, thus providing a fresh perspective on contemporary debates.
By employing complementary systematic and historical approaches to this central issue, the conference will offer a new framework for constructive dialogue and exploration of the fact-value distinction across disciplines.