What Relationship between Ethics and Sociology?

Author/s Ivo Colozzi
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/1
Language Italian Pages 25 P. 11-35 File size 564 KB
DOI 10.3280/SP2016-001002
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The starting point of research is whether for sociologists it is possible, remaining in their role as social scientists, derive from the analysis of a particular social problem a prescriptive guidance, i.e. guidance on what you should do or would be fair to do to solve it, or if this can be done, but on the condition to pass from being a social scientist to that of moral philosopher or politically engaged citizen. The problem comes from the so-called law of Hume, and is referred to in English sociological literature as Is-ought problem. The paper discusses briefly the positions on the issue of three "classics": Durkheim, Weber and Marx. Then it presents the positions of some of the modern and contemporary sociologists who have studied the issue. Finally, it proposes a typology of different sociological positions and a number of arguments justifying overcoming the division between description and prescription and questions the two basic options that the absolute majority of sociologists shares, i.e. relativism and moral non-cognitivism.

Keywords: Sociological Theory; Ethics; Is-ought Problem; Critical Realism; Post-modernism

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Ivo Colozzi, Quale relazione tra etica e sociologia? in "SOCIOLOGIA E POLITICHE SOCIALI" 1/2016, pp 11-35, DOI: 10.3280/SP2016-001002