By Robert Grant
Originally published January 26, 2014
Here is an excerpt:
What is important to us?
On closer inspection, however, this view of economics as value-free is, at best, illusory and, at worst, dangerous.
Firstly, it is illusory in that expressing our values, or what is important to us, is an unavoidable aspect of any human act or behaviour; this goes for the hard sciences as well as economics.
The very decision about what aspect of the world to examine is an expression of what is important to us, ie, an expression of our values. We could spend billions of euros on weapons research, or we could spend it on researching agricultural methods to alleviate hunger. Both are scientific projects, yet the choice to devote time and money to one or the other is based on what we care about.
The entire article is here.
The key point to this article is: economics, like the practice of psychology, is not a value-free activity. There are more mainstream articles pointing out that science is not a value-free experience. Having values in science or psychotherapy is not bad, wrong or horrible. Rather, individuals need to know their values as well as their biases as part of doing good work. The danger is remaining unaware of how your values and beliefs go hand-in-glove with your practice of psychology.