Ed Feser on the fact/value dichotomy, redux

From the traditional Thomistic point of view, however, there simply is no “fact/value distinction” in the first place. More precisely, there is no such thing as a purely “factual” description of reality utterly divorced from “value”, for “value” is built into the structure of the “facts” from the get-go. A gap between “fact” and “value” could exist only given a mechanistic-cum-nominalistic understanding of nature of the sort commonly taken for granted by modern philosophers, on which the world is devoid of any objective essences or natural ends. No such gap, and thus no “fallacy” of inferring normative conclusions from “purely factual” premises, can exist given an Aristotelian-Thomistic essentialist and teleological conception of the world.

Edward Feser, Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide, p. 175


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