Integrated empirical ethics: Loss of normativity? [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (1):71-79 (2004)
An important discussion in contemporary ethics concerns the relevance of empirical research for ethics. Specifically, two crucial questions pertain, respectively, to the possibility of inferring normative statements from descriptive statements, and to the danger of a loss of normativity if normative statements should be based on empirical research. Here we take part in the debate and defend integrated empirical ethical research: research in which normative guidelines are established on the basis of empirical research and in which the guidelines are empirically evaluated by focusing on observable consequences. We argue that in our concrete example normative statements are not derived from descriptive statements, but are developed within a process of reflection and dialogue that goes on within a specific praxis. Moreover, we show that the distinction in experience between the desirable and the undesirable precludes relativism. The normative guidelines so developed are both critical and normative: they help in choosing the right action and in evaluating that action. Finally, following Aristotle, we plead for a return to the view that morality and ethics are inherently related to one another, and for an acknowledgment of the fact that moral judgments have their origin in experience which is always related to historical and cultural circumstances
|Keywords||Aristotle empirical ethics experience hermeneutics is – ought gap phronèsis pragmatism relativism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Tineke A. Abma, Bert Molewijk & Guy A. M. Widdershoven (2009). Good Care in Ongoing Dialogue. Improving the Quality of Care Through Moral Deliberation and Responsive Evaluation. Health Care Analysis 17 (3):217-235.
Jonathan Ives (2008). 'Encounters with Experience': Empirical Bioethics and the Future. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 16 (1):1-6.
Sabine Salloch, Jochen Vollmann & Jan Schildmann (2014). Ethics by Opinion Poll?: The Functions of Attitudes Research for Normative Deliberations in Medical Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (9):597-602.
Sabrina Keinemans & Mariël Kanne (2013). The Practice of Moral Action: A Balancing Act for Social Workers. Ethics and Social Welfare 7 (4):1-20.
Anna Smajdor, Jonathan Ives, Emma Baldock & Adele Langlois (2008). Getting From the Ethical to the Empirical and Back Again: The Danger of Getting It Wrong, and the Possibilities for Getting It Right. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 16 (1):7-16.
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