15 found
Sort by:
See also:
Profile: Jacob Stegenga (University of Toronto, University of Utah)
  1. Jacob Stegenga (forthcoming). Herding QATs: Quality Assessment Tools for Evidence in Medicine. In Huneman, Silberstein & Lambert (eds.), Herding QATs: Quality Assessment Tools for Evidence in Medicine.
    Medical scientists employ ‘quality assessment tools’ (QATs) to measure the quality of evidence from clinical studies, especially randomized controlled trials (RCTs). These tools are designed to take into account various methodological details of clinical studies, including randomization, blinding, and other features of studies deemed relevant to minimizing bias and error. There are now dozens available. The various QATs on offer differ widely from each other, and second-order empirical studies show that QATs have low inter-rater reliability and low inter-tool reliability. This (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Jacob Stegenga (forthcoming). Theory Choice and Social Choice: Okasha Versus Sen. Mind.
    A platitude that took hold with Kuhn is that there can be several equally good ways of balancing theoretical virtues for theory choice. Okasha recently modelled theory choice using technical apparatus from the domain of social choice: famously, Arrow showed that no method of social choice can jointly satisfy four desiderata, and each of the desiderata in social choice has an analogue in theory choice. Okasha suggested that one can avoid the Arrow analogue for theory choice by employing a strategy (...)
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Jacob Stegenga (2014). Down with the Hierarchies. Topoi 33 (2):313-322.
    Evidence hierarchies are widely used to assess evidence in systematic reviews of medical studies. I give several arguments against the use of evidence hierarchies. The problems with evidence hierarchies are numerous, and include methodological shortcomings, philosophical problems, and formal constraints. I argue that medical science should not employ evidence hierarchies, including even the latest and most-sophisticated of such hierarchies.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Jacob Stegenga (2014). Population Pluralism and Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu003.
    I defend a radical interpretation of biological populations—what I call population pluralism—which holds that there are many ways that a particular grouping of individuals can be related such that the grouping satisfies the conditions necessary for those individuals to evolve together. More constraining accounts of biological populations face empirical counter-examples and conceptual difficulties. One of the most intuitive and frequently employed conditions, causal connectivity—itself beset with numerous difficulties—is best construed by considering the relevant causal relations as ‘thick’ causal concepts. I (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Jacob Stegenga (2013). An Impossibility Theorem for Amalgamating Evidence. Synthese 190 (12):2391-2411.
    Amalgamating evidence of different kinds for the same hypothesis into an overall confirmation is analogous, I argue, to amalgamating individuals’ preferences into a group preference. The latter faces well-known impossibility theorems, most famously “Arrow’s Theorem”. Once the analogy between amalgamating evidence and amalgamating preferences is tight, it is obvious that amalgamating evidence might face a theorem similar to Arrow’s. I prove that this is so, and end by discussing the plausibility of the axioms required for the theorem.
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. Jacob Stegenga (2013). Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.
    I describe two traditions of philosophical accounts of evidence: one characterizes the notion in terms of signs of success, the other characterizes the notion in terms of conditions of success. The best examples of the former rely on the probability calculus, and have the virtues of generality and theoretical simplicity. The best examples of the latter describe the features of evidence which scientists appeal to in practice, which include general features of methods, such as quality and relevance, and general features (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Jacob Stegenga (2013). Probabilizing the End. Philosophical Studies 165 (1):95-112.
    Reasons transmit. If one has a reason to attain an end, then one has a reason to effect means for that end: reasons are transmitted from end to means. I argue that the likelihood ratio (LR) is a compelling measure of reason transmission from ends to means. The LR measure is superior to other measures, can be used to construct a condition specifying precisely when reasons transmit, and satisfies intuitions regarding end-means reason transmission in a broad array of cases.
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. 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.
  9. Jacob Stegenga (2011). Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (4):497-507.
    An astonishing volume and diversity of evidence is available for many hypotheses in the biomedical and social sciences. Some of this evidence—usually from randomized controlled trials (RCTs)—is amalgamated by meta-analysis. Despite the ongoing debate regarding whether or not RCTs are the ‘gold-standard’ of evidence, it is usually meta-analysis which is considered the best source of evidence: meta-analysis is thought by many to be the platinum standard of evidence. However, I argue that meta-analysis falls far short of that standard. Different meta-analyses (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Jacob Stegenga (2011). The Chemical Characterization of the Gene: Vicissitudes of Evidential Assessment. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (1):105-127.
    The chemical characterization of the substance responsible for the phenomenon of “transformation” of pneumococci was presented in the now famous 1944 paper by Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty. Reception of this work was mixed. Although interpreting their results as evidence that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the molecule responsible for genetic changes was, at the time, controversial, this paper has been retrospectively celebrated as providing such evidence. The mixed and changing assessment of the evidence presented in the paper was due to the (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Jacob Stegenga (2010). &Quot;population" Is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds. Biological Theory 5 (2):154–160.
    Millstein (2009) argues against conceptual pluralism with respect to the definition of “population,” and proposes her own definition of the term. I challenge both Millstein’s negative arguments against conceptual pluralism and her positive proposal for a singular definition of population. The concept of population, I argue, does not refer to a natural kind; populations are constructs of biologists variably defined by contexts of inquiry.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  12. Jacob Stegenga (2010). Population is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds. Biological Theory 5 (2):154-160.
    Millstein (2009) argues against conceptual pluralism with respect to the definition of “population,” and proposes her own definition of the term. I challenge both Millstein's negative arguments against conceptual pluralism and her positive proposal for a singular definition of population. The concept of population, I argue, does not refer to a natural kind; populations are constructs of biologists variably defined by contexts of inquiry.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. Jacob Stegenga (2009). Philosophy of Experimental Biology. Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.
    Philosophers have committed sins while studying science, it is said – philosophy of science focused on physics to the detriment of biology, reconstructed idealizations of scientific episodes rather than attending to historical details, and focused on theories and concepts to the detriment of experiments. Recent generations of philosophers of science have tried to atone for these sins, and by the 1980s the exculpation was in full swing. Marcel Weber’s Philosophy of Experimental Biology is a zenith mea culpa for philosophy of (...)
    No categories
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  14. Jacob Stegenga (2009). Marcel Weber: Philosophy of Experimental Biology. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.
    No categories
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  15. Jacob Stegenga (2009). Robustness, Discordance, and Relevance. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):650-661.
    Robustness is a common platitude: hypotheses are better supported with evidence generated by multiple techniques that rely on different background assumptions. Robustness has been put to numerous epistemic tasks, including the demarcation of artifacts from real entities, countering the “experimenter’s regress,” and resolving evidential discordance. Despite the frequency of appeals to robustness, the notion itself has received scant critique. Arguments based on robustness can give incorrect conclusions. More worrying is that although robustness may be valuable in ideal evidential circumstances (i.e., (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation