David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (5):467 – 490 (2005)
In medical ethics, business ethics, and some branches of political philosophy (multi-culturalism, issues of just allocation, and equitable distribution) the literature increasingly combines insights from ethics and the social sciences. Some authors in medical ethics even speak of a new phase in the history of ethics, hailing "empirical ethics" as a logical next step in the development of practical ethics after the turn to "applied ethics." The name empirical ethics is ill-chosen because of its associations with "descriptive ethics." Unlike descriptive ethics, however, empirical ethics aims to be both descriptive and normative. The first question on which I focus is what kind of empirical research is used by empirical ethics and for which purposes. I argue that the ultimate aim of all empirical ethics is to improve the context-sensitivity of ethics. The second question is whether empirical ethics is essentially connected with specific positions in meta-ethics. I show that in some kinds of meta-ethical theories, which I categorize as broad contextualist theories, there is an intrinsic need for connecting normative ethics with empirical social research. But context-sensitivity is a goal that can be aimed for from any meta-ethical position.
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Citations of this work BETA
Silke Schicktanz, Mark Schweda & Brian Wynne (2012). Erratum To: The Ethics of 'Public Understanding of Ethics'—Why and How Bioethics Expertise Should Include Public and Patients' Voices. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (2):251-251.
Marcus Düwell (2009). Wofür braucht die Medizinethik empirische Methoden? Ethik in der Medizin 21 (3):201-211.
Daniel Gregorowius, Petra Lindemann-Matthies & Markus Huppenbauer (2012). Ethical Discourse on the Use of Genetically Modified Crops: A Review of Academic Publications in the Fields of Ecology and Environmental Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (3):265-293.
Brent Daniel Mittelstadt, Bernd Carsten Stahl & N. Ben Fairweather (2015). How to Shape a Better Future? Epistemic Difficulties for Ethical Assessment and Anticipatory Governance of Emerging Technologies. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):1027-1047.
Neelke Doorn (2010). A Rawlsian Approach to Distribute Responsibilities in Networks. Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (2):221-249.
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