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  1. Evaluating Evidential Pluralism in Epidemiology: Mechanistic Evidence in Exposome Research.Stefano Canali - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):4.
    In current philosophical discussions on evidence in the medical sciences, epidemiology has been used to exemplify a specific version of evidential pluralism. According to this view, known as the Russo–Williamson Thesis, evidence of both difference-making and mechanisms is produced to make causal claims in the health sciences. In this paper, I present an analysis of data and evidence in epidemiological practice, with a special focus on research on the exposome, and I cast doubt on the extent to which evidential pluralism (...)
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  • Calibration for Epistemic Causality.Jon Williamson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    The epistemic theory of causality is analogous to epistemic theories of probability. Most proponents of epistemic probability would argue that one's degrees of belief should be calibrated to chances, insofar as one has evidence of chances. The question arises as to whether causal beliefs should satisfy an analogous calibration norm. In this paper, I formulate a particular version of a norm requiring calibration to chances and argue that this norm is the most fundamental evidential norm for epistemic probability. I then (...)
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  • Models in Systems Medicine.Jon Williamson - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (47):429-469.
    Systems medicine is a promising new paradigm for discovering associations, causal relationships and mechanisms in medicine. But it faces some tough challenges that arise from the use of big data: in particular, the problem of how to integrate evidence and the problem of how to structure the development of models. I argue that objective Bayesian models offer one way of tackling the evidence integration problem. I also offer a general methodology for structuring the development of models, within which the objective (...)
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  • Establishing Causal Claims in Medicine.Jon Williamson - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (1):33-61.
    ABSTRACTRusso and Williamson [2007. “Interpreting Causality in the Health Sciences.” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21: 157–170] put forward the following thesis: in order to establish a causal claim in medicine, one normally needs to establish both that the putative cause and putative effect are appropriately correlated and that there is some underlying mechanism that can account for this correlation. I argue that, although the Russo–Williamson thesis conflicts with the tenets of present-day evidence-based medicine, it offers a better (...)
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  • Reinforced Reasoning in Medicine.Daniel Auker‐Howlett & Michael Wilde - 2020 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 26 (2):458-464.
    Some philosophers have argued that evidence of underlying mechanisms does not provide evidence for the effectiveness of a medical intervention. One such argument appeals to the unreliability of mechanistic reasoning. However, mechanistic reasoning is not the only way that evidence of mechanisms might provide evidence of effectiveness. A more reliable type of reasoning may be distinguished by appealing to recent work on evidential pluralism in the epistemology of medicine. A case study from virology provides an example of this so‐called reinforced (...)
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  • Evidential Proximity, Independence, and the Evaluation of Carcinogenicity.Jon Williamson - 2019 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 25 (6):955-961.
    This paper analyses the methods of the International Agency for Research on Cancer for evaluating the carcinogenicity of various agents. I identify two fundamental evidential principles that underpin these methods, which I call Evidential Proximity and Independence. I then show, by considering the 2018 evaluation of the carcinogenicity of styrene and styrene‐7,8‐oxide, that these principles have been implemented in a way that can lead to inconsistency. I suggest a way to resolve this problem: admit a general exception to Independence and (...)
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