Values within reason

Sayer, Richard Andrew (2017) Values within reason. Canadian Review of Sociology, 54 (4). pp. 468-475. ISSN 1755-6171

[thumbnail of SayerAxiologicalpiece1rev]
PDF (SayerAxiologicalpiece1rev)
SayerAxiologicalpiece1rev.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (517kB)


The paper questions the assumptions that facts and values are always radically different, that objectivity and values do not mix, and that values are subjective and a-rational and should be excluded from social science. It argues (1) that such assumptions are underpinned by unnoticed slippages between different meanings of objectivity and by misunderstandings of the nature of values and normativity; (2) that evaluative judgements—often in the form of “thick ethical concepts” in which description and evaluation are fused—are necessary for objective description in social science; and (3) that framing the values issue in terms of the relations between is and ought misrepresents the place of normativity in social science and in everyday life.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Canadian Review of Sociology
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Sayer, A. (2017), Values within Reason. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 54: 468-475. doi:10.1111/cars.12172 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? valuesreasonnormativitythick ethical termssocial sciences(all)discipline-based research ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
02 May 2018 09:24
Last Modified:
23 Feb 2024 00:56