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Empirical and Narrative Ethics

Empirical Ethics

  • Empirical ethics- study of ethical beliefs, practices, and dilemmas exist in a particular setting

    • Often use methods from social science to gather data to demonstrate what ethical practices exist in a certain context

    • Highly descriptive- what ethical beliefs, practices, and dilemmas that occur in a certain population/setting

      • How do certain groups hold beliefs that differ from 4 principles?

    • Tension between empirical and normative ethics, but we can use them together

    • May also document beliefs not reflected in 4 principles

  • Casuistry- using case examples to teach us what ethical behavior is supposed to be like, similar to empirical ethics

    • But not trying to describe ethical trends across a larger set

Narrative Ethics

  • Narrative ethics- reflection on particular stories to teach us about what “ethical” action may look like

    • Interested in what ethical values/dilemmas matter in a specific context regardless if they’re a specified principle or not

    • Interested in sequence- sequence of events, why someone made a certain decision, what consequences came about bc of it?

  • 3 types of stories

    • Quest- having illness changes/transforms the patient in some way

    • Restitution- patient is restored to full health

    • Chaos- no clear resolution for patient, often case for chronic and/or incurable illness

  • Mattering maps- what things/values matter to different individuals/parties in the situation (clinicians, patient, etc.)

  • Four components of mattering maps

    • Voice- Who’s telling the story and why?

    • Character- Who’s the story about?

    • Plot- What is the sequence of events? How has illness disrupted someone’s life vision?

    • Resolution- How does the story end and are individuals happy with ending?

  • Differs from empirical ethics

    • Narrative ethics uses literature stories instead of gathering data from a population

  • Differs from casuistry

    • Interested in how people make moral decisions instead of finding generalizable from case examples

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Empirical and Narrative Ethics

Empirical Ethics

  • Empirical ethics- study of ethical beliefs, practices, and dilemmas exist in a particular setting

    • Often use methods from social science to gather data to demonstrate what ethical practices exist in a certain context

    • Highly descriptive- what ethical beliefs, practices, and dilemmas that occur in a certain population/setting

      • How do certain groups hold beliefs that differ from 4 principles?

    • Tension between empirical and normative ethics, but we can use them together

    • May also document beliefs not reflected in 4 principles

  • Casuistry- using case examples to teach us what ethical behavior is supposed to be like, similar to empirical ethics

    • But not trying to describe ethical trends across a larger set

Narrative Ethics

  • Narrative ethics- reflection on particular stories to teach us about what “ethical” action may look like

    • Interested in what ethical values/dilemmas matter in a specific context regardless if they’re a specified principle or not

    • Interested in sequence- sequence of events, why someone made a certain decision, what consequences came about bc of it?

  • 3 types of stories

    • Quest- having illness changes/transforms the patient in some way

    • Restitution- patient is restored to full health

    • Chaos- no clear resolution for patient, often case for chronic and/or incurable illness

  • Mattering maps- what things/values matter to different individuals/parties in the situation (clinicians, patient, etc.)

  • Four components of mattering maps

    • Voice- Who’s telling the story and why?

    • Character- Who’s the story about?

    • Plot- What is the sequence of events? How has illness disrupted someone’s life vision?

    • Resolution- How does the story end and are individuals happy with ending?

  • Differs from empirical ethics

    • Narrative ethics uses literature stories instead of gathering data from a population

  • Differs from casuistry

    • Interested in how people make moral decisions instead of finding generalizable from case examples