Evidence-Based Policy: What's to Be Done about Relevance? [Book Review]

Philosophical Studies 143 (1):127 - 136 (2009)
Abstract
How can philosophy of science be of more practical use? One thing we can do is provide practicable advice about how to determine when one empirical claim is relevant to the truth of another; i.e., about evidential relevance. This matters especially for evidence-based policy, where advice is thin—and misleading—about how to tell what counts as evidence for policy effectiveness. This paper argues that good efficacy results (as in randomized controlled trials), which are all the rage now, are only a very small part of the story. To tell what facts are relevant for judging policy effectiveness, we need to construct causal scenarios about will happen when the policy is implemented.
Keywords Evidence  Evidence-based policy  Evidential relevance  Randomized controlled trials  Efficacy  Effectiveness
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Nancy Cartwright & Jacob Stegenga (2011). A Theory of Evidence for Evidence-Based Policy. In Philip Dawid, William Twining & Mimi Vasilaki (eds.), Evidence, Inference and Enquiry. Oup/British Academy. 291.
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