Mechanisms are now taken widely in philosophy of science to provide one of modern science’s basic explanatory devices. This has raised lively debate concerning the relationship between mechanisms, laws and explanation. This paper focuses on cases where a mechanism gives rise to a ceteris paribus law, addressing two inter-related questions: What kind of explanation is involved? and What is going on in the world when mechanism M affords behavior B described in a ceteris paribus law? We explore various answers offered (...) by ‘new mechanists’ and others before setting out and explaining our own answers: mechanistic explanations are a species of oldfashioned covering-law explanation and this often accounts in part for their explanatory power; and B is what it takes for some set of principles that govern the features of M’s parts in their arrangement in M all to be instanced together. (shrink)
Digital contact tracing, in combination with widespread testing, has been a focal point for many plans to “reopen” economies while containing the spread of Covid‐19. Most digital contact tracing projects in the United States and Europe have prioritized privacy protections in the form of local storage of data on smartphones and the deidentification of information. However, in the prioritization of privacy in this narrow form, there is not sufficient attention given to weighing ethical trade‐offs within the context of a public (...) health pandemic or to the need to evaluate safety and effectiveness of software‐based technology applied to public health. (shrink)
This paper explores the state of teacher training in philosophy graduate programs in the English-speaking world. Do philosophy graduate programs offer training regarding teaching? If so, what is the nature of the training that is offered? Who offers it? How valuable is it? We conclude that philosophers want more and better teaching training, and that collectively we know how to deliver and support it.
BackgroundExpertise has been a contentious concept in Evidence-Based Medicine. Especially in the early days of the movement, expertise was taken to be exactly what EBM was rebelling against—the authoritarian pronouncements about “best” interventions dutifully learned in medical schools, sometimes with dire consequences. Since then, some proponents of EBM have tried various ways of reincorporating the idea of expertise into EBM, with mixed results. However, questions remain. Is expertise evidence? If not, what is it good for, if anything?MethodsIn this article, I (...) describe and analyze the three historical models of expertise integration in EBM and discuss the difficulties in putting each into practice. I also examine accounts of expertise from disciplines outside of medicine, including philosophy, sociology, psychology, and science and technology studies to see if these accounts can strengthen and clarify what EBM has to say about expertise.ResultsOf the accounts of expertise discussed here, the Collins and Evans account can do most to clarify the concept of expertise in EBM.ConclusionsWith some additional clarification from EBM proper, theoretical resources from other disciplines might augment the current EBM account of expertise. (shrink)
My doctoral project is a study of epistemological and ethical issues in Evidence-Based Medicine, a movement in medicine which emphasizes the use of randomized controlled trials. Much of the research on EBM suggests that, for a large part of the movement's history, EBM considered expertise, mechanisms, and values to be forces contrary to its goals and has sought to remove them, both from medical research and from the clinical encounter. I argue, however, that expertise, mechanisms and values have important epistemological (...) and ethical roles to play and can be incorporated into the current EBM movement. (shrink)