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The morality of research practice in the social sciences: epistemological and bioethical issues

This article takes a double perspective - epistemological and bioethical - towards the object of specific study in social sciences research involving human individuals and populations. The author focuses particularly on social sciences research in Brazil, referring to the descriptive, normative, and protective practice in the evaluation system developed by research ethics committees and the National Commission on Research Ethics (Conep). The article also highlights some of the inherent difficulties in the evaluator's role, confronted with the specificity of the object at hand and contingent on resistance by social sciences researchers when their research projects are evaluated according to norms derived from models referring to the morality of biomedical research. Finally, the article adopts a bioethical model based on the triple task - descriptive, prescriptive, and protective - called the bioethics of protection.

Bioethics of protection; Social sciences; Research Ethics Committees; Epistemology; Research on human beings

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