Authors
Michael Wilde
University of Kent
Daniel Auker-Howlett
University of Kent (PhD)
Abstract
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 reasoning in medicine. It is argued that in this case study, the available evidence of underlying mechanisms did in fact play a role in providing evidence in favour of a medical intervention. This paper therefore adds a novel and recent case study to the literature in support of evidential pluralism in medicine.
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Reprint years 2020
DOI 10.1111/jep.13269
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Interpreting Causality in the Health Sciences.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):157 – 170.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Feasibility and Malleability of EBM+.Jon Williamson - 2021 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 36 (2):191-209.
Editorial Introduction: Decision Making, Reasoning, Context, and Perspective.Michael Loughlin - 2020 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 26 (2):387-388.

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