Synthese 196 (8):3189-3211 (2019)

Authors
Bennett Holman
Yonsei University
Abstract
Arguments that medical decision making should rely on a variety of evidence often begin from the claim that meta-analysis has been shown to be problematic. In this paper, I first examine Stegenga’s argument that meta-analysis requires multiple decisions and thus fails to provide an objective ground for medical decision making. Next, I examine three arguments from social epistemologists that contend that meta-analyses are systematically biased in ways not appreciated by standard epistemology. In most cases I show that critiques of meta-analysis fail to account for the full range of meta-analytic procedures. In the remainder of cases, I argue that the critiques identify problems that do not uniquely cut against meta-analysis. I close by suggesting one reason why it may be pragmatically rational to violate the principle of total evidence and by outlining the criteria for a successful argument against meta-analysis. A set of criteria I contend remain unmet.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-1690-2
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1999 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Fate of Knowledge.Helen E. Longino - 2001 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

How (Not) to Measure Replication.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-27.
Bias as an Epistemic Notion.Anke Bueter - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91:307-315.
Assessing the Overall Validity of Randomised Controlled Trials.Alexander Krauss - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 34 (3):159-182.

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