The Epistemological Weight of Randomized-Controlled Trials Depends on Their Results

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 61 (2):157-173 (2018)
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Abstract

Biomedical research and study design have recently been examined in detail by philosophers of science, who, like biomedical researchers, are concerned with the ability to accurately represent causal relationships through scientific study and apply these relationships to improve the health of individuals and populations. Epistemology—defined by the OED as "the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion"—is fundamental to these concerns. In particular, philosophers of science and biomedical researchers have discussed the epistemological value of randomized-controlled trials in regards to their individual components....

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Olaf Dammann
Tufts University

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