chapter  10
How to camouflage ethical questions in addiction research
WithAlfred Uhl
Pages 15

This chapter argues that the specific role of a researcher is completely incompatible with the role of an advocate for certain ideas and/or interest groups. It analyses some common logical fallacies in addiction research - particularly some fallacies that camouflage ethical questions - illustrated by some simple examples. The flawed idea of basing ethical conclusions purely on empirical facts was called the ‘Naturalistic Fallacy’ by G. E. Moore, and has become a well-known term in research methodology. The term ‘evidence-based policy’, if understood as derived solely from evidence, is a contradiction in itself - a ‘Natural Fallacy’ related to the value-free science myth. In terms of alcohol control policy, it is important to realise that there are two very distinct perspectives concerning alcohol use in the western world. A common dichotomy in early drug policy discussion was coercive treatment versus imprisonment. Later, the dominant dichotomy was legalisation versus criminalisation, or decriminalisation versus criminalisation.