… is from page 1 of my late teacher Leland Yeager’s important 2001 book, Ethics as Social Science: The Moral Philosophy of Social Cooperation:
Social science helps check ethical intuitions against facts. It examines clashes among values and helps sort out the most fundamental ones. It recognizes that fact and logic alone cannot recommend private actions and public policies; ethical judgments must also enter in. Knowing that “good intentions are not enough”, social science insists on comparing how alternative sets of institutions and rules are likely to work.