COVID-19 and Control: An Essay from a Pragmatic Perspective on Science

Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic (2020)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how different (even conflicting) interventions on nature can be scientifically justified: interventions can be deemed "effective" only in relation to specific target variables - in relation to variables the values of which we seek to control. Choosing the "right" target variables, in turn, depends on our values and pragmatic aims. This essay is based on a presentation given at the symposium "Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic", organised at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies on 16 June 2020.

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