Values in design sciences.Stud Hist Philos Sci. 2014 Jun; 46:11-5.SH
Following Herbert Simon's idea of "the sciences of the artificial", one may contrast descriptive sciences and design sciences: the former are concerned with "how things are", the latter tell us "how things ought to be in order to attain goals, and to function". Typical results of design sciences are thus expressions about means--ends relations or technical norms in G. H. von Wright's sense. Theorizing and modeling are important methods of giving a value-free epistemic justification for such technical norms. The values of design sciences are not criteria for the acceptance of theories or models, but rather antecedents of conditional recommendations of actions. Design sciences are thus value-neutral and value-laden at the same time.