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Cultural Relativism and the Theory of Value: The Educational Implications

Gladys Parker Foster
The American Journal of Economics and Sociology
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jul., 1991), pp. 257-267
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3487267
Page Count: 11
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Cultural Relativism and the Theory of Value: The Educational Implications
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Abstract

The "philosophy of science" developed by John Dewey in Logic: The Theory of Inquiry should be applied in the study of philosophy and the social sciences as it has come to be applied in the physical sciences. Dewey's methodology prescribes the use of both reason and observation in problem-solving, that is, both theory (hypothesis-making) and practice (fact-gathering), with movement back and forth between the two, revising the theory and gathering new facts until a conclusion is reached. The rightness of a conclusion should be evaluated in terms of its consequences and is always subject to modification in the light of later evidence. This philosophy means that a scientific criterion of judgment is possible, in this case Dewey's instrumental theory of value. Higher education should incorporate value theory explicitly into its curriculum and thereby help society to make choices about the good, the true, and the beautiful.

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