This paper discusses one of the key themes of social sciences, specially of the Weberian work, the debate regarding how the scientist should behave regarding his object, social reality: if committed or neutral. Throughout the paper his position about the "value neutrality" issue is scrutinized. More than identifying the general meaning involved in this idea, the main purpose was to apprehend the justification mobilized by the author to provide a basis for this general premise. The first step of the research consisted in a structural reading of all texts gather together in the Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Wissenschaftslehre, as is clearly presented in the second section. After that were selected all the excerpts containing the expression Wertfreheit and some other correlated terms, presented as a table in the end of this paper. Those excerpts were then classified and analyzed regarding its content, on order to grasp the justifications presented by the author. To conclude, those data were synthetized in order to produce general claims regarding Weberian theory. The main result of this investigation is a wider and deeper understanding of the justifications underlying one of the crucial statements of Weberian sociology, allowing a most well-informed position regarding this general issue, that remains one of the key problems in contemporary debate within epistemology of social sciences. Therefore, this paper provides a contribution to this debate, throwing a new light about the premises sustaining the principle of value neutrality, making explicit that the defense of this principle refers to multiple justifications. Beside that, the discussion presented here allows a clearer understanding about the consequences of this principle for science and to social life.
Max Weber; Methodology of Social Sciences; Value Neutrality; Sociological Theory; Epistemology