David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 7 (2):107-124 (1997)
: In the shadowy world between philosophy of science and ethics lie the paired concepts of underdetermination and incommensurability. Typically, scientific evidence underdetermines the hypotheses tested in research studies, providing neither proof nor disproof. As a result, scientists must judge the weight of the evidence, and in doing so, bring scientific and extrascientific values to bear in their approaches to assessing and interpreting the evidence. When different scientists employ very different values, their views are said to be incommensurable. Less prominent differences represent partial incommensurabilities. The definitions and analyses provided by McMullin and by Veatch and Stempsey lay the foundation for the description of partial incommensurabilities in the current practice of assessing and interpreting epidemiologic evidence. This practice is called "causal inference" and is undertaken for the purpose of making causal conclusions and public health recommendations from population-based studies of exposures and diseases. Following the work of Bayley and Longino, several suggestions are examined for dealing with the partial incommensurabilities found in the general practice of causal inference in contemporary epidemiology. Two specific examples illustrate these ideas: studies on the relationship between induced abortion and breast cancer and those on the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and breast cancer
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ross E. G. Upshur (2000). Seven Characteristics of Medical Evidence. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 6 (2):93-97.
Andrew Miles & Michael Loughlin (2009). Philosophy, Freedom and the Public Good: A Review and Analysis of 'Public Health Ethics' Holland, S. (2007). Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 15 (5):838-858.
Kristin Shrader-Frechette (2007). Relative Risk and Methodological Rules for Causal Inferences. Biological Theory 2 (4):332-336.
Similar books and articles
Deborah G. Mayo (2000). Experimental Practice and an Error Statistical Account of Evidence. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):207.
Ward E. Jones (2000). Underdetermination and the Explanation of Theory-Acceptance: A Response to Samir Okasha. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):299 – 304.
Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (2007). Interpreting Probability in Causal Models for Cancer. In Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality and Probability in the Sciences. 217--242.
Alex Broadbent (2011). Inferring Causation in Epidemiology: Mechanisms, Black Boxes, and Contrasts. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press 45--69.
Robert E. McKeown, Douglas L. Weed, Jeffrey P. Kahn & Michael A. Stoto (2003). American College of Epidemiology Ethics Guidelines: Foundations and Dissemination. Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (2):207-214.
Ernan McMullin (1995). Underdetermination. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (3):233-252.
William E. Stempsey (1995). Incommensurability: Its Implications for the Patient/Physician Relation. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (3):253-269.
Carol Bayley (1995). Our World Views (May Be) Incommensurable: Now What? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (3):271-284.
Federica Russo (2009). Variational Causal Claims in Epidemiology. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 52 (4):540-554.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads129 ( #33,064 of 1,932,455 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #456,114 of 1,932,455 )
How can I increase my downloads?