Evidence, Defeasibility, and Metaphors in Diagnosis and Diagnosis Communication

Topoi 40 (2):327–341 (2021)
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The paper investigates the epistemological and communicative competences the experts need to use and communicate evidence in the reasoning process leading to diagnosis. The diagnosis and diagnosis communication are presented as intertwined processes that should be jointly addressed in medical consultations, to empower patients’ compliance in illness management. The paper presents defeasible reasoning as specific to the diagnostic praxis, showing how this type of reasoning threatens effective diagnosis communication and entails that we should understand diagnostic evidence as defeasible as well. It argues that metaphors might be effective communicative devices to let the patients understand the relevant defeasors in the diagnostic reasoning process, helping to improve effective diagnosis communication, and also encouraging a change in patients’ beliefs and attitudes on their own experience of illness and illness’ management.



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Author Profiles

Pietro Salis
Universita di Cagliari
Francesca Ervas
Universita di Cagliari

References found in this work

How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
Theory of knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.
Theory and Evidence.Clark N. Glymour - 1980 - Princeton University Press.

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