Modeling the invention of a new inference rule: The case of ‘Randomized Clinical Trial’ as an argument scheme for medical science

Argument and Computation 9 (2):77-89 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A background assumption of this paper is that the repertoire of inference schemes available to humanity is not fixed, but subject to change as new schemes are invented or refined and as old ones are obsolesced or abandoned. This is particularly visible in areas like health and environmental sciences, where enormous societal investment has been made in finding ways to reach more dependable conclusions. Computational modeling of argumentation, at least for the discourse in expert fields, will require the possibility of modeling change in a stock of schemes that may be applied to generate conclusions from data. We examine Randomized Clinical Trial, an inference scheme established within medical science in the mid-20th Century, and show that its successful defense by means of practical reasoning allowed for its black-boxing as an inference scheme that generates (and warrants belief in) conclusions about the effects of medical treatments. Modeling the use of a scheme is well-understood; here we focus on modeling how the scheme comes to be established so that it is available for use.

Similar books and articles

Clinical Research before Informed Consent.Franklin G. Miller - 2014 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 24 (2):141-157.
What Theories Are Tested in Clinical Trials?Spencer Phillips Hey - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1318-1329.
Shortcomings of the randomized controlled trial: a view from the boondocks.Joseph Herman Md - 1998 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 4 (4):283-286.


Added to PP

282 (#63,105)

6 months
66 (#59,299)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Sarah Jackson
University of Manchester
Jodi Schneider
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations