The blurred line between facts and values

Diagnosing the source of political disagreement

Political arguments often seem to be about disagreements over what the facts are.  But when it comes to politics and even the edges of science, value judgements creep into what is otherwise presented as factual claims. If we are to correctly diagnose the source of political conflict, we must learn to detect when the line between fact and value has been blurred, argues Fabienne Peter.


Many agree with the recent Just Stop Oil protesters in London that much more needs to be done to mitigate climate change, but of course not everyone does. So what do the two sides disagree about? Is it a disagreement about facts, centring on different interpretations of the evidence relating to climate trends and their effects on our environment? Or is it a disagreement about values, centring on different opinions on how to weigh the burdens of unmitigated climate change to different groups of people and other living beings, or on how to weigh the costs and benefits of climate

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