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Making claims also involves deciding between values and descriptions. We can think about the six examples just given from this perspective: claims a, c, and f describe some state of affairs; whereas claims b and d make explicit value judgments about the goodness or otherwise of some state of affairs; claim e sits uneasily between these two alternatives; and while claim e appears to be free of values, most of us would probably see in it some implicit value judgment, probably because of the implication in the first half of the claim that we should do the opposite of the 'if'. Yet it is unlikely that we will ever be able to write many claims that are completely free of value judgments. An individual claim may be descriptive, but it can only be understood in relation to other claims and other words. What appears, to lis, to be a description will, necessarily, appear to others as a judgment of value. For many years, the word Violence' was never used to describe white settlement in Australia. Thus, when historians began to uncover the evidence of violence, their claims appeared in comparison to be distinctly value-laden. So we must simply be aware of the value judgments in our claims in order to understand what we are saying.

Claims always involve, implicitly or explicitly, some statement of the scope and certainty of the information they contain. Well-formed claims always state their scope and certainty explicitly. For example, 'Australians took part in military-style operations against indigenous Australians' is unclear. How many—all of them, some, a few? Where did this occur? And for how long? Whatever you wish to say about this issue (and there are competing views among historians), a well-formed claim should try to make clear what you are asserting. Hence, (for example) 'Many colonial Australian settlers took part in military-style operations against indigenous Australians throughout the nineteenth century, in different parts of the country' is a better-formed claim.

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