value neutrality
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Forests ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (12) ◽  
pp. 1789
Author(s):  
Yujie Ren ◽  
Tianhui Fan

Improving the quality of forest, water, farmland, and other types of land use with outstanding ecosystem optimization, restoration functions (ecological lands) and reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions are recognized as the two main approaches of current mainstream climate change policies. The paper aims to evaluate and compare the value neutrality within these two main types of policy responses to climate change. To do that, a case study was conducted at the Yangtze River Economic Belt, China. We first summarized the implementation status of all climate change policies in the study area and collected data related to climate and economy at the policy pilot sites. Next, the coupling relationship between climate and socio-economic conditions at policy pilot sites was calculated by the Tapio model. Finally, we constructed dummy variables that reflected the status of policy implementation, to estimate the value neutrality of mainstream climate change policies and their impact on the coupling relationship by DID models. The results showed that the proportion of policies related to ecological lands that significantly improved the coupling degree between climate and socio-economic conditions of the pilot sites is more than that of carbon emission-related ones. Moreover, the average coupling degree between climate and socio-economic conditions of the pilot sites of ecological land policies was significantly increased by 3.99 units after policy implementation, which is 27.8% higher than that of carbon emission reduction policies. Generally, the two main findings directly evidenced that the climate change policies aimed at improving the area and quality of ecological lands were more conducive to the coupling development of the climate–economy nexus than the policies focusing on restricting carbon emissions, which provides important enlightenment for the establishment of relevant environmental policies around the world.


2021 ◽  
Vol 19 (4) ◽  
pp. 460-486
Author(s):  
Andre Fiebig ◽  
David Gerber

Abstract The recent appointments of Timothy Wu as Special Assistant to the U.S. President for Technology and Competition Policy and Lina Khan, a member of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, two prominent advocates for a fundamental shift in U.S. antitrust policy, and the introduction of federal and state legislation to change how antitrust is applied signal a realistic possibility of a fundamental change of direction in the course of U.S. antitrust. The shift advocated by these self-described “Brandeisians” goes beyond the reform proposals advocated by the Post-Chicago School movement. Whereas the Post-Chicago School movement, which was based primarily on industrial organization theory, advocated for change while recognizing the primacy of economic theory in the application of antitrust law, the Neo-Brandeisians argue that economic considerations should only be part of the substantive antitrust analysis and not necessarily the determinative factor. For many Europeans, and in particular Germans familiar with legal history, the ideas advanced by the Neo-Brandeisians will be familiar. Louis Brandeis, whose writings and opinions serve as the intellectual compass of the Neo-Brandeisians, was himself influenced by the Freirechtsbewegung and their skepticism of a wertfreie jurisprudence. Borrowing from post-modernist philosophy, the Neo-Brandeisians recognize that the dominant legal doctrines reflect the prevailing power structures in society. In their view, the fact that U.S. antitrust law relies heavily on economic theory does not allow it to claim value neutrality. The more radical members of this movement consequently argue that other values beyond economics should be considered in the application of U.S. antitrust law by the courts and antitrust agencies. In this article we attempt to introduce this movement to a European audience and assess its possible impact on the direction of U.S. antitrust.


2021 ◽  
pp. 18-42
Author(s):  
Richard B. Miller

This chapter argues that the study of religion lacks an “ethics of religious studies,” by which the author means a theoretical justification of the guild. Focusing on a 1971 report by Claude Welch, Graduate Education in Religion: A Critical Study, it targets Welch’s refusal to provide such a justification and explains its silence by referencing the long shadow cast by Protestant thinking about the dangers of self-justification. It is argued that Welch’s argument erects a firewall between the study of religion and the justification of that study, one that reinforces the commitment to value-neutrality that is described in chapter 1. To explain the field’s preoccupation with methodology, the chapter turns to Stephen Toulmin’s discussion of scientific disciplines and the importance of having a goal as a condition for organizing mature research. It concludes by sketching the outlines of scholarship in religious studies and the distinction between routine work and metadisciplinary work.


2021 ◽  
pp. 303-306
Author(s):  
Richard B. Miller

The epilogue concludes the book by clarifying how Critical Humanism makes possible an ethics of religious studies. Positioned against an episteme that draws its sustenance from Reformation, Enlightenment, and post-Enlightenment thinking, Critical Humanism provides reasons that enable present and future generations to grasp the values of studying religion and provides a model of reasoning that can break the spell of the field’s regime of truth of value-neutrality. It thereby enables scholars to overcome a long-standing repression of desire and discover humanistic excellences according to which motives for studying religion are desirable and worthy of attachment and transmission. Seen in this way, the epilogue argues, Critical Humanism is a vocation. It allows scholars to recommend religious studies for the present and in ways that make possible hope for the future.


2021 ◽  
pp. 3-17
Author(s):  
Richard B. Miller

This chapter takes up the question whether the study of religion can be justified and indicates why scholars of religion deny themselves reasons for tackling that question. It uses as its point of departure Max Weber’s lecture, “Science as a Vocation” as articulating a methodological standard for studying religion, one that privileges value-neutrality and avows an “ascetic ideal” (following Nietzsche). It is argued that this ideal poses obstacles to making justificatory claims on behalf of studying religion and fortifies a repressive scholarly conscience in the field’s regime of truth. The chapter adds that this conscience is not entirely repressive and notes the presence of quixotic, haphazard appeals to normative ideals that materialize in the study of religion. Lastly, it sketches the book’s alternative to the ascetic ideal and describes ideas from moral philosophy that inform the book’s critical and constructive argument.


2021 ◽  
pp. 71-94
Author(s):  
Richard B. Miller

This chapter examines the work of Donald Wiebe and the Scientific-Explanatory Method. Otherwise known as the naturalistic paradigm, the Scientific-Explanatory Method insists that the study of religion should operate within a value-free, disinterested, and empirical set of parameters. The chapter examines Wiebe’s ideas and then enlists and expands on insights offered in the previous chapter to show how Wiebe’s naturalism rules out valid sources of knowledge about human experience. Drawing on the philosophical anthropology and hermeneutical ideas of Charles Taylor, it shows how naturalism drapes human conduct under the banner of behaviorism and excludes from consideration the idea that human beings are agents who act according to intersubjective reasons. The chapter concludes by arguing that the naturalistic paradigm relies on a fact-value distinction that reflects and reinforces the commitments to value-neutrality that the book identifies as afflicting the field.


Author(s):  
Richard B. Miller

This book asks, can the study of religion be justified? It poses this question on the view that scholarship in religion, especially work in “theory and method,” is preoccupied with matters of methodological procedure and is thus inarticulate about the goals that can justify the study of religion and motivate scholarship in the field. For that reason, it insists, the field suffers from a crisis of rationale. The book identifies six prevailing methodologies in the field, each of which it critically examines as symptomatic of this crisis, on the way toward offering an alternative framework for thinking about purposes for studying religion. Shadowing these methodologies is a Weberian scientific ideal for studying religion, one that privileges value-neutrality. This ideal poses obstacles to making justificatory claims on behalf of studying religion and fortifies a repressive conscience about thinking normatively within the field’s regime of truth. After making these points, the book describes an alternative framework, Critical Humanism, especially how it theorizes about the ends rather than the means of humanistic scholarship and offers a basis for thinking about the ethics of religious studies as held together by four values: post-critical reasoning, social criticism, cross-cultural fluency, and environmental responsibility. Ordered to such purposes, the book argues, the study of religion can imagine itself as a valuable and desirable enterprise so that scholars of religion can relax their commitment to matters of methodological procedure and avow the values of studying religion.


2021 ◽  
pp. 175069802110446
Author(s):  
Yifat Gutman ◽  
Jenny Wüstenberg

Memory activists have recently received more scholarly and public attention, but the concept lacks conceptual clarity. In this article, we articulate an analytical framework for studying memory activists, proposing a relatively narrow definition: “Memory activists” strategically commemorate the past to challenge (or protect) dominant views on the past and the institutions that represent them. Their goal is mnemonic change or to resist change. We locate scholarship on memory activists at the intersection of memory studies and social movement studies. We introduce a typology for comparative analysis of memory activism according to activist roles, temporality, and modes of interaction with other actors in memory politics, and illustrate this with a diverse set of empirical examples. We contend that the analytical utility of the concept of the “memory activist” is premised on its value-neutrality, and in particular, its application to both pro and anti-democratic cases of activism.


Author(s):  
Pal Swarup ◽  
Ghosh Sudip

In this essay, I have attempted to defense the possibility of objectivity in case of social science research. It is basically an evaluation of Max Weber’s interpretation in maintaining the possibility of objectivity in social science. There is a long tradition in the philosophy of social science maintaing a sharp distinction between social science and natural science in terms of both goals as well as method; and there is no doubt about that natural sciences have the higher degree of objectivity in comparison with social science. It is not possible to maintain absolute objectivity in case of social science research. But, by following some tricksit is possible to make a social inquiry more reliable and justifiable.This paper aims to improve such tricks as well as such a unique methodology adopted by Max Weber through which it is possible to maintain objectivity in social science as well as to establish social science as a successful science. Keywords: Max Weber, Objectivity, Social Science, Natural Science, Value-free Ideal, Theory-Ladenness, Value-Neutrality


Author(s):  
Stephen D. Brown

This chapter analyzes potential biases and competing interests in prenatal counseling when conditions are diagnosed for which intrauterine surgery may be possible. Such counseling often occurs at the multidimensional interface of obstetrics and pediatrics. After considering clinical, social, and historical contexts of such counseling, the chapter presents a case that illustrates how physician demographics, interspecialty differences, divergent clinical experiences, and larger organizational factors may compound practice variation. It considers how biased counseling may influence patients’ decisions and questions whether value-neutral counseling is attainable when such fetal conditions are diagnosed. It concludes that declared commitments to value neutrality cannot insulate pregnant patients from biases and competing interests. In its recommendations, it discusses organizational responses analogous to conflict-of-interest policies. It further suggests that conversations between clinicians and patients that are mutually open about values may enhance rather than undermine patients’ ability to formulate decisions that most closely embody their true preferences.


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