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Criticizing the data: some concerns about empirical approaches to ethics


  • Michael Loughlin PhD

    1. Reader in Applied Philosophy, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, MMU Cheshire, Crewe, UK and Visiting Professor of Philosophy as Applied to Medicine, University of Buckingham, UK
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There are strong arguments in favour of the need for more ‘empirically informed philosophy’. Using papers in the current issue of JECP as case studies, I raise fundamental and unresolved methodological questions about the proper relationship between philosophy and empirical research, in particular concerning the relationship between ‘data’ in empirical research and the ‘responses’ people give in to questions in the process of philosophical dialogue. There are tensions between the role of data in empirical research and the critical stance required for philosophy that need to be addressed, if empirically informed philosophy is to make a serious and substantial contribution to our thinking about the matters of great import it addresses.