Robinson on Facts and Values

The scientific method could not be applied to human beings in any way that yielded useful information. It was the fact-value problem stated in a different way; human reality could only be explained in terms of values. And values were very resistant to scientific analysis. Isolation of factors for study, falsifiable hypotheses, repeatable experiments – the entire apparatus as practised in lab physics simply could not be brought to bear. Values drove history, which was whole, nonrepeatable, and contingent. It might be characterised as Lamarckian, or as a chaotic system, but even those were guesses, because what factors were they talking about? What aspects might be acquired by learning and passed on, or cycling in some nonrepetitive but patterned way? No one could say.

Kim Stanley Robinson: „Green Mars“ (1994)


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