ethics


ethics
Ethics is often defined as the concern with what ought to be, whereas science (including social science ) is concerned with describing reality as it actually exists. This distinction has given rise to the notion that social science should be value free or value neutral. In practice, however, both the means and goals of social science investigation are intrinsically bound up with ethical considerations.
There is no clear consensus on a complete set of ethical rules to be followed when conducting research involving human subjects-although there are some generally agreed professional guide-lines. One of the basic tenets is that subjects should normally have their privacy protected through the practice of informed consent. This would rule out any observation of private behaviour without the explicit and fully informed permission of the person to be observed. Furthermore, subjects should not be exposed to unnecessary stress, or manipulation, or personal risk. The researcher is also responsible for preserving the confidentiality of any information that could identify subjects. The protection of data, so that anonymity is assured, is an increasing concern and is now subject to certain legal requirements. Ethical principles guide not only the conduct, but also the presentation of research, and there are ethical implications concerning how the results might be used. Sociologists may never face the dilemma of Oppenheimer developing the atomic bomb, but as Robert Friedrichs wrote in A Sociology of Sociology (1970), ‘knowledge of man is not neutral in its import; it grants power over man as well.’ See also research ethics.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Ethics — • Many writers regard ethics as any scientific treatment of the moral order and divide it into theological, or Christian, ethics (moral theology) and philosophical ethics (moral philosophy) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Ethics …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ethics —    Ethics may be defined as the study of morality (though some, such as Bernard Williams, distinguish differently between the two). It is traditionally divided into three areas: (1) meta ethics, concerned with the meaning of moral terms ( good ,… …   Christian Philosophy

  • ethics — eth·ics / e thiks/ n pl but sing or pl in constr: the principles of conduct governing an individual or a profession see also aba model rules of professional conduct in the important laws section Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam… …   Law dictionary

  • Ethics — Eth ics ([e^]th [i^]ks), n. [Cf. F. [ e]thique. See {Ethic}.] The science of human duty; the body of rules of duty drawn from this science; a particular system of principles and rules concerting duty, whether true or false; rules of practice in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ethics — ethics, morals 1. Both terms are concerned with the practice of right and wrong. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995) defines ethics as ‘the science of morals in human conduct’; what this means is that morals forms the basis of abstract… …   Modern English usage

  • ethics — Trustees in Bankruptcy are subject to the Codes of Ethics under: CAIRP, The Canadian Association of insolvency and Restructuring Professionals; The Bankruptcy and insolvency Act; The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and where… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • ethics — the science of morals, c.1600, plural of M.E. ethik study of morals (see ETHIC (Cf. ethic)). The word also traces to Ta Ethika, title of Aristotle s work …   Etymology dictionary

  • ethics — / ethic [n] moral philosophy, values belief, conduct, conscience, convention, conventionalities, criteria, decency, ethos, goodness, honesty, honor, ideal, imperative, integrity, moral code, morality, mores, natural law, nature, practice,… …   New thesaurus

  • ethics — ► PLURAL NOUN 1) the moral principles governing or influencing conduct. 2) the branch of knowledge concerned with moral principles. DERIVATIVES ethicist noun …   English terms dictionary

  • ethics — [eth′iks] n. 1. the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy 2. a treatise on this study 3. [with sing. or pl. v.] the system or code of morals of a particular person, religion, group, profession, etc …   English World dictionary


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