Walter Eucken (1891–1950), the founder of German ordoliberalism, is best known for his work on economic policy. According to the orthodox view, giving policy advice involves not only technical expertise but also judgments of value. Against this background, the present article investigates Eucken's stance on the principle of value freedom, that is, the claim that positive and normative statements should be kept separate. While Eucken defended the notion of scientific objectivity in his earlier writings, he later distanced himself from the principle of value freedom as formulated by Max Weber. This article maintains that a closer reading of Eucken and Weber reveals the similarity of their positions. Thus, Eucken should be seen as a proponent of the principle of value freedom. At the same time, his treatment of the subject suggests that his (implicit) model of policymaking is incomplete because it does not specify the ultimate source of value.

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