What is the relationship between the descriptive and the normative? The usual answer, in the social sciences, is based on a sharp distinction between facts and values. This chapter reprises and radicalizes long-standing critiques of the fact/value distinction, proposes an alternative theory of ontic webs in its stead, and then uses it to delineate six different forms of public sociology. It argues that facts are value-laden and values fact-laden; that facts and values are entangled in webs of belief and practice; and that attributions of causation and moral responsibility are connected via ontological assumptions. Effective public sociology therefore requires a combination of ontological extension and moral translation.
Gorski, P.S. (2019), "Ontic Webs: A New Framework for Public Sociology", Religion, Humility, and Democracy in a Divided America (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 36), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 151-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-871920190000036008
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