Footnotes (73)



Symbiotic Empirical Ethics: A Practical Methodology

Lucy Frith

University of Liverpool

May 2012

Bioethics, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 198-206, 2012

Like any discipline, bioethics is a developing field of academic inquiry; and recent trends in scholarship have been towards more engagement with empirical research. This ‘empirical turn’ has provoked extensive debate over how such ‘descriptive’ research carried out in the social sciences contributes to the distinctively normative aspect of bioethics. This paper will address this issue by developing a practical research methodology for the inclusion of data from social science studies into ethical deliberation. This methodology will be based on a naturalistic conception of ethical theory that sees practice as informing theory just as theory informs practice – the two are symbiotically related. From this engagement with practice, the ways that such theories need to be extended and developed can be determined. This is a practical methodology for integrating theory and practice that can be used in empirical studies, one that uses ethical theory both to explore the data and to draw normative conclusions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

Keywords: ethical theory, naturalism, empirical ethics, methodology, social science

Date posted: April 19, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Frith, Lucy, Symbiotic Empirical Ethics: A Practical Methodology (May 2012). Bioethics, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 198-206, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2042413 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8519.2010.01843.x

Contact Information

Lucy Frith (Contact Author)
University of Liverpool ( email )
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 200
Downloads: 1
Footnotes:  73