Topic XXIII. Integrating Facts and Values
Context for this filter:
- B. CONCEPT ACQUISITION
- Value: In the philosophical and psychology of judgment and decison-making literature, we use the term "value" to refer to all values, goals, preferences, fears, etc., not only high, principled values (as often in colloquial speech).
- Value Pluralism: People often have multiple legitimate values (including both high principles and minor personal preferences), which sometimes conflict (within individuals or within groups).
- When an individual has multiple conflicting values, they often try to avoid compromising either value by:
- The value conflicts that arise from multiple values make people uncomfortable, but they are inevitable and coping with such conflicts requires compromise.
- Exemplary Quotes
- "We have to find a way to work with all the elements of this group in order to move forward together, even though we have different priorities."
- Cautionary Quotes: Mistakes, Misconceptions, & Misunderstandings
- "We can't discuss anything with those people; they just want to talk about values!"
- B. CONCEPT ACQUISITION
- a. Buck-passing: Getting someone else to make the decision, so one doesn't feel responsible for compromising one of their values.
- b. Belief Overkill: Denying the facts that lead to value conflict.
- E.g., the large majority of people who think the death penalty is morally wrong also believe it is not an effective deterrent, while those who think it is morally appropriate believe it is an effective deterrent. Someone who believed it was effective but immoral would be faced with an internal conflict between their desire to deter murderers and their dislike of the death penalty.
- c. Sacred Values: Some values, which are considered "sacred" or "protected," people say they will not compromise for anything. This is not usually followed through all the way.
- E.g., saving children's lives is often considered a sacred value, while saving money is not. However, essentially no one contributes all the money they could to institutions which save children's lives and could save more lives with more money.
- d. Tragic Trade-offs: Sometimes a trade-off must be made between two sacred values, which makes for a tragic trade-off.
- E.g., deciding which of two children will receive a single life-saving organ needed by both to survive is a tragic trade-off.
- C. CONCEPT APPLICATION
- Distinguish between technical, more inclusive use of "value" vs. narrower, colloquial sense of "value," and use appropriately.
- Identify multiple relevant values for individuals, for particular problems of what to do.
- Identify multiple relevant values for groups, for particular problems of what to do.
- Identify when value trade-offs are necessary, and when they can be minimized.
- Identify one's own fears, personal desires, and ambitions which come into play in a given group decision.
- Identify the fears, personal desires, and ambitions of others which come into play in a given group decision.