This chapter questions the way virtue ethics is being drawn into debates about the ethics of social research. In particular, it suggests that discussion of virtue may be motivated by a desire to counter existing, largely principlist, approaches to the ethics of research and its associated administrative structures; virtue ethics has a prima facie appeal for those who are seemingly in need of an alternative moral philosophy. In addition, I argue that, as it stands, the complexity of virtue theory is not fully reflected in, or acknowledged by, debates about the ethics of social research. In the light of these remarks I suggest that the resources of social research can be drawn upon to generate critical theoretical insights into the ethics of social research. I discuss how a normative understanding of practices, and the concept of synderesis understood in a broadly Bourdieuan framework, could provide a starting point for such critical insights. I conclude that this perspective might be taken to suggest that the ethical stance most appropriate to the culture of social research is one of ongoing critical engagement.
Emmerich, N. (2018), "From Phrónēsis to Habitus: Synderesis and the Practice(s) of Ethics and Social Research", Emmerich, N. (Ed.) Virtue Ethics in the Conduct and Governance of Social Science Research (Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity, Vol. 3), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 197-217. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2398-601820180000003012
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