Conceptual analysis and special-interest science: toxicology and the case of Edward Calabrese

Synthese 177 (3):449 - 469 (2010)
Abstract
One way to do socially relevant investigations of science is through conceptual analysis of scientific terms used in special-interest science (SIS). SIS is science having welfare-related consequences and funded by special interests, e.g., tobacco companies, in order to establish predetermined conclusions. For instance, because the chemical industry seeks deregulation of toxic emissions and avoiding costly cleanups, it funds SIS that supports the concept of "hormesis" (according to which low doses of toxins/carcinogens have beneficial effects). Analyzing the hormesis concept of its main defender, chemical-industry-funded Edward Calabrese, the paper shows Calabrese and others fail to distinguish three different hormesis concepts, H, HG, and HD. H requires toxin-induced, short-term beneficial effects for only one biological endpoint, while HG requires toxin-induced, net-beneficial effects for all endpoints/responses/subjects/ages/conditions. HD requires using the risk-assessment/regulatory default rule that all low-dose toxic exposures are net-beneficial, thus allowable. Clarifying these concepts, the paper argues for five main claims. (1) Claims positing H are trivially true but irrelevant to regulations. (2) Claims positing HG are relevant to regulation but scientifically false. (3) Claims positing HD are relevant to regulation but ethically/scientifically questionable. (4) Although no hormesis concept (H, HG, or HD) has both scientific validity and regulatory relevance, Calabrese and others obscure this fact through repeated equivocation, begging the question, and data-tri mm ing. Consequently (5) their errors provide some undeserved rhetorical plausibility for deregulating low-dose toxins
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,346
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 9 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Kevin Elliott (2004). Error as Means to Discovery. Philosophy of Science 71 (2):174-197.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-03-29

Total downloads

17 ( #93,650 of 1,096,621 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #71,259 of 1,096,621 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.