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The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics

Volume 4, 2004

Business, Science, and Ethics

Joseph DesJardins
Pages 239-261

Explanation and Justification
The Relevance of the Biological and Social Sciences to Business Ethics

This paper attempts to sort through some of the challenges facing those of us who look to empirical science for help in doing normative business ethics. I suggest that the distinction between explanation and justification, a distinction at the heart of the difference between descriptive social science and normative ethics, is often overlooked when social scientists attempt to draw ethical conclusions from their research.

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