ERIC Number: ED201579
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
A Suggested Framework for Interaction Between Normative Ethics and Empirical Research.
Reagan, Gerald M.
The role of empirical research in investigating normative ethics is examined. Normative ethics refers to a set of moral principles or values which describes not only what exists but also prescribes what should be. The theoretical work in the field of normative ethics upon which this approach is based is that of Bernard Rosen, particularly his work on moral education/moral theory, treatment of moral dilemmas, and moral negotiation (rational agreement) to resolve moral disagreements. The discussion in presented in two major parts. Part one describes the perspective from which the author viewed the normative ethics/empirical research question. The perspective is based on the assumption that more light would be shed on the issue of moral dilemmas if there were a closer and more interactive relationship between empirical researchers and those who work with values. This working relationship is desirable in understanding and evaluating various types of disputes--verbal, factual, and value-related. Part two presents a brief description of how the method of moral negotiation might be used by empirical researchers and discusses some theoretical aspects of moral negotiation. The moral negotiation method centers on capturing moral/value conflicts in the form of two conflicting statements and in setting forth statements of consequences which would follow according to which original statement was determined to be correct. Researchers can help in this process by sifting and sorting reasons, evaluating statements, relating statements to each other, and identifying possible areas of conditional agreement. The conclusion is that values experts and empirical researchers will contribute more to the dispute solving process if they concentrate more on the immediate potential of moral negotiation than on what ethics could offer if all the theoretical issues were resolved. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).