Delimiting the concept of research: an ethical perspective
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
It is important to be able to offer an account of which activities count as scientific research, given our current interest in promoting research as a means to benefit humankind and in ethically regulating it. We attempt to offer such an account, arguing that we need to consider both the procedural and functional dimensions of an activity before we can establish whether it is a genuine instance of scientific research. By placing research in a broader schema of activities, the similarities and differences between research activities and other activities become visible. It is also easier to show why some activities that do not count as research can sometimes be confused with research and why some other activities can be regarded only partially as research. Although the concept of research is important to delimit a class of activities which we might be morally obliged to promote, we observe that the class of activities which are regarded as subject to ethical regulation is not exhausted by research activities. We argue that, whether they be research or not, all the activities that are likely to affect the rights and interests of the individuals involved and impact on the rights and interests of other individuals raise ethical issues and might be in need of ethical regulation.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Policy, Definition of Key Terms, 2006. URL: http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/define.htm. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Aristotle. The Complete Works of Aristotle. Edited and translated by J. Barnes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.
- Board of Trustees of the Southern Illinois University, Office of Research Development and Administration, Glossary of Research Terms, 2006. URL: http://www.siu.edu/orda/general/glossary.html. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Bortolotti L., and Mameli M. (2006) Deception in psychology: moral costs and benefits of unsought self-knowledge. Accountability in Research 13(3):259–275.
- Chalmers A. (1999) What Is this Thing Called Science? 3rd ed. Queensland: University of Queensland Press.
- Clarke S. (1999) Justifying deception in social science research. Journal of Applied Philosophy 16(2):151–166. CrossRef
- Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS). International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects, 2002. URL http://www.cioms.ch/frame_guidelines_nov_2002.htm. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Darley J., and Daniel Batson C. (1973) From Jerusalem to Jericho: A study of Situational and Dispositional Variables in Helping Behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 27:100–108. CrossRef
- Eman, C. and M. Eman. “How not to be Lakatos Intolerant.” In International Studies Quarterly 46 (2002): 231–262.
- European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, Charter of Fundamental Rights of The European Union. (2000), chapter II, article 13. URL: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Jonas H. (1976) Freedom of Scientific Inquiry and the Public Interest. Hastings Center Report 6(4):15–17. CrossRef
- Harris J. (2005) Scientific Research Is a Moral Duty. Journal of Medical Ethics 31:242–248. CrossRef
- Harris S. (1992) Japanese Biological Warfare. Research on Humans: A Case study of Microbiology and Ethics. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 666:21–49. CrossRef
- Kant, I. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Edited by M. J. Gregor. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. Original publ. 1785.
- Kuhn, T. Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Original publ. 1962.
- Lakatos, I. “Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes.” In Philosophical Papers, vol. I. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1970.
- National Cancer Institute (NCI). “NIH Halts Use of COX-2 Inhibitor in Large Cancer Prevention Trial.” 2004. URL: http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/APCtrialCOX2. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Questions and Answers NIH Halts Use of COX-2 Inhibitor in Large Cancer Prevention Trial.” 2004. URL http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec2004/od-17Q&A.htm. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Popper, K. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. 5th ed. New York: Routledge, 2002. Original publ. 1935.
- Ramsey, P. The Patient as Person: Exploration in Medical Ethics. 2nd ed. Yale University Press, 2002.
- Solomon S.D. et al. (2005) The Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) Study Investigators, Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Celecoxib in a Clinical Trial for Colorectal Adenoma Prevention. New England Journal of Medicine 352:1071–1080. CrossRef
- Regan, T. The Case for Animal Rights. University of California Press, 1983.
- Tyson, J. “Dubious Distinctions Between Research and Clinical Practice Using Experimental Therapies.” In Ethics and Perinatology. Edited by A. Goldworth et al. 214–230 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
- US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Public Welfare 46.102(d). URL http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/45cfr46_06.html. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Whitbeck, C. Research Ethics: Encyclopaedia of Applied Ethics, vol. 3. Edited by R.␣Chadwick. 835–843. San Diego, Academic Press, 1997.
- Windelband, W. “Geschichte und Naturwissenschaft. Straßburger Rektoratsrede.” In Präludien. Aufsätze und Reden zur Philosophie und ihrer Geschichte. Tübingen: J.␣C. B. Mohr., 1894, 136–160. Translated by Gerhard Faßnacht., Nomothesia, Ideographia, and Bemetology. Draft., 2004. URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/methodologyInstitute/pdf/QualPapers/Fass-Nomo_Ideo%20revi.pdf. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- World Medical Association (WMA), Declaration of Helsinki, 2004. URL http://www.wma.net/e/policy/b3.htm. Accessed 2nd February, 2007.
- Delimiting the concept of research: an ethical perspective
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Volume 28, Issue 3 , pp 157-179
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- ethical regulation
- demarcation criterion
- research ethics
- methodology of science
- aims of science
- freedom of research