By George Frost Kennan
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This position, however, while a popular one during the reign of logical positivism, has more recently fallen into some disrepute. 67 In sum, the tenet of the value-free nature of scientific knowledge, and the assumption of the separation of fact and value underlying it, insists that the competence of science lies in the analysis of objective reality alone - the 'is' and not the 'ought'. And should one desire to go beyond the realm of facts, even the most generous of positivists will feel obliged to point out that in so doing one moves beyond the realm of science as well.
Then, in the second part of this chapter, I will explore the question of theoretical reflexivity in terms of International Relations theory. I will show how recent developments in positivist International Relations theory both reflect the influence of themes in contemporary social and political theory as well as underscore the continuing hegemony of positivist categories. Perhaps even more importantly, however, I will show that developments in social and political theory which have led to a questioning of positivism and a simultaneous opening to theoretical reflexivity also have their parallel in International Relations theory, albeit at the margins of the discipline.
Finally, it is important to note the status of those sentences which do not fall into the two aforementioned categories. , 'freedom is good'). 26 27 The restructuring of International Relations theory Of course logical positivists conceded that 'meaningless statements' were capable of playing an important role in eliciting emotional responses or provoking human action. But, maintained the logical positivists, that kind of role was possible only outside the realm of scientific discourse. In the realm of scientific discourse the concern is that of truth - of distinguishing between true and false statements - a concern which requires that all statements be meaningful in order to be assessable.