Empirical Ethics

This seminar focuses on empirical research in the field of ethics and bioethics and involves setting up, implementing, interpreting empirical research and integrating empirical evidence in a normative analysis.

Based on the lecturer’s experience of different types of empirical research on (bio)ethical issues, the students are taught how they can develop an empirical research question and, in doing so, to select anappropriate method that is suitable for collecting empirical data on, for example, moralreasoning or attitudes to moral issues. Students are trained to critically assess the quality and value of empirical studies. Finally, the course will provide insight in methods for the integration of empirical research data in normative argumentation and in the debate about (the need for) methods for empirical (bio)ethics.

The course will take into account the discipline specific background of the students and provides an opportunity to conduct a small-scale empirical study about a discipline specific moral question.). The students are guided in research tasks related to their study, e.g. the design of a survey questionnaire, the construction of an interview guide for qualitative research onmoral decision-making, data analysis, the interpretation of results, a critical reflectionabout the value and limitations of the study.