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Stephen John [26]Stephen David John [2]
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Stephen John
Cambridge University
  1.  61
    Inductive Risk and the Contexts of Communication.Stephen John - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):79-96.
    In recent years, the argument from inductive risk against value free science has enjoyed a revival. This paper investigates and clarifies this argument through means of a case-study: neonicitinoid research. Sect. 1 argues that the argument from inductive risk is best conceptualised as a claim about scientists’ communicative obligations. Sect. 2 then shows why this argument is inapplicable to “public communication”. Sect. 3 outlines non-epistemic reasons why non-epistemic values should not play a role in public communicative contexts. Sect. 4 analyses (...)
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  2. Expert Testimony and Epistemological Free-Riding: The Mmr Controversy.Stephen John - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):496-517.
    Using the controversy over the MMR vaccine, I consider the reasons why non-experts should defer to experts, and I sketch a model for understanding cases where they fail to defer. I first suggest that an intuitively plausible model of the expert/non-expert relationship is complicated by shifting epistemic standards. One possible moderate response to this challenge, based on a more complex notion of non-experts' relationship with experts, seems unappealing as an account of the MMR controversy. A more radical suggestion is that (...)
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  3.  64
    Epistemic Trust and the Ethics of Science Communication: Against Transparency, Openness, Sincerity and Honesty.Stephen John - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (2):75-87.
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  4.  57
    The Example of the IPCC Does Not Vindicate the Value Free Ideal: A Reply to Gregor Betz.Stephen John - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):1-13.
    In a recent paper, Gregor Betz has defended the value-free ideal: “the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic values”against the methodological critique, by reference to the work of the International Panel on Climate Change . This paper argues that Betz’s defence is unsuccessful. First, Betz’s argument is sketched, and it is shown that the IPCC does not avoid the need to “translate” claims. In Section 2, it is argued that Betz mischaracterises the force of the methodological (...)
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  5. In Defence of Bad Science and Irrational Policies: An Alternative Account of the Precautionary Principle.Stephen John - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):3-18.
    In the first part of the paper, three objections to the precautionary principle are outlined: the principle requires some account of how to balance risks of significant harms; the principle focuses on action and ignores the costs of inaction; and the principle threatens epistemic anarchy. I argue that these objections may overlook two distinctive features of precautionary thought: a suspicion of the value of “full scientific certainty”; and a desire to distinguish environmental doings from allowings. In Section 2, I argue (...)
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  6.  10
    Philosophy and the Precautionary Principle: Science, Evidence, and Environmental Policy Daniel Steel, 2014 Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 266 Pp., £60/$95. [REVIEW]Stephen John - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (2):217-218.
  7.  10
    Should We Punish Responsible Drinkers? Prevention, Paternalism and Categorization in Public Health.Stephen John - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (1):35-44.
    Many public debates over policies aimed at curbing alcohol consumption start from an assumption that policies should not affect ‘responsible’ drinkers. In this article, I examine this normative claim, which I call prudentialism. In the first part of the article, I argue that prudentialism is both a demanding and distinctive doctrine, which philosophers should consider seriously. In the middle sections, I examine the relationship between prudentialism and two familiar topics in public health ethics: the prevention paradox and the relationship between (...)
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  8.  20
    From Social Values to P-Values: The Social Epistemology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Stephen John - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2):157-171.
    In this article I ask two questions prompted by the phenomenon of ‘politically patterned’ climate change denial. First, can an individual's political commitments provide her with good reasons not to defer to cognitive experts’ testimony? Building on work in philosophy of science on inductive risk, I argue they can. Second, can an individual's political commitments provide her with good reasons not to defer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's testimony? I argue that they cannot, because of the high epistemic (...)
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  9.  9
    The Politics of Certainty: The Precautionary Principle, Inductive Risk and Procedural Fairness.Stephen John - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):21-33.
    ABSTRACTThis paper re-interprets the precautionary principle as a ‘social epistemic rule’. First, it argues that sometimes policy-makers should act on claims which have not been scientifically established. Second, it argues that, given how scientists ought to solve ‘inductive risk’ problems, such guidance is required not only under actual conditions, but under any plausible conditions. Third, it suggests that procedural fairness may provide policy-makers with reasons to be very reluctant to act on claims which are not scientifically established. The restriction of (...)
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  10. Risk and Precaution.Stephen John - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics: Key Concepts and Issues in Policy and Practice:67--84.
     
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  11.  13
    Science, Truth and Dictatorship: Wishful Thinking or Wishful Speaking?Stephen John - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  12.  25
    Three Worries About Three Arguments for Research Exceptionalism.Stephen John - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (8):67-69.
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  13.  70
    Efficiency, Responsibility and Disability: Philosophical Lessons From the Savings Argument for Pre-Natal Diagnosis.Stephen John - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):1470594-13505412.
    Pre-natal-diagnosis technologies allow parents to discover whether their child is likely to suffer from serious disability. One argument for state funding of access to such technologies is that doing so would be “cost-effective”, in the sense that the expected financial costs of such a programme would be outweighed by expected “benefits”, stemming from the births of fewer children with serious disabilities. This argument is extremely controversial. This paper argues that the argument may not be as unacceptable as is often assumed. (...)
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  14.  15
    Anti-Anti-Vaxx: The Fairness-Based Obligation to Defer to the Expert Consensus.Stephen John - unknown
    This paper uses the case-study of controversy over the MMT vaccine to suggest that non-expert audiences might have a fairness-based "political" obligation to defer to expert scientific consensus. The first part of the paper notes various reasons why it is implausible to argue that non-experts are epistemically obliged to defer to the consensus. The second draws on the literature on vaccination ethics more generally to argue for the alternative political obligation to defer. The third section considers some objections, and the (...)
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  15.  5
    Efficiency, Responsibility and Disability.Stephen John - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):3-22.
    Pre-natal-diagnosis technologies allow parents to discover whether their child is likely to suffer from serious disability. One argument for state funding of access to such technologies is that doing so would be “cost-effective”, in the sense that the expected financial costs of such a programme would be outweighed by expected “benefits”, stemming from the births of fewer children with serious disabilities. This argument is extremely controversial. This paper argues that the argument may not be as unacceptable as is often assumed. (...)
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  16.  56
    Security, Knowledge and Well-Being.Stephen John - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):68-91.
    This paper investigates whether being “physically insecure” (being at risk of not continuing to meet one's physical needs in the future) should be thought of as a constituent of current wellbeing. In §1, it is argued that we cannot understand the value of security in terms of “freedom from fear”. In §2, it is argued that the reliablist approach to epistemology can help us to construct an account of why physical security is valuable, by relating security to the conditions of (...)
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  17.  77
    Why 'Health' is Not a Central Category for Public Health Policy.Stephen John - 2009 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):129-143.
    We normally think that public health policy is an important political activity. In turn, we normally understand the value of public health policy in terms of the promotion of health or some health-related good (such as opportunity for health), on the basis of the assumption that health is an important constituent or determinant of wellbeing. In this paper, I argue that the assumption that the value of public health policy should be understood in terms of health leads us to overlook (...)
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  18.  6
    Messy Autonomy: Commentary on Patient Preference Predictors and the Problem of Naked Statistical Evidence.Stephen David John - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (12):864-864.
    Like many, I find the idea of relying on patient preference predictors in life-or-death cases ethically troubling. As part of his stimulating discussion, Sharadin1 diagnoses such unease as a worry that using PPPs disrespects patients’ autonomy, by treating their most intimate and significant desires as if they were caused by their demographic traits. I agree entirely with Sharadin’s ‘debunking’ response to this concern: we can use statistical correlations to predict others’ preferences without thereby assuming any causal claim. However, I suspect (...)
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  19.  58
    Mind the Gap.Stephen John - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):218-220.
  20.  63
    Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bio-Ethics: Essay Review of Paul, Miller and Paul, Eds., Bioethics. [REVIEW]Stephen John - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Series C 35 (21):177-184.
  21.  20
    Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bioethics.Stephen John - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):177-184.
  22.  22
    Alex Broadbent Philosophy of Epidemiology.Stephen John - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):707-711.
  23.  11
    The Moral Physiology of Inequality: Response to ‘Fighting Status Inequalities: Non-Domination Vs Non-Interference’.Stephen John - 2016 - Public Health Ethics 9 (2):164-165.
    In this article, I respond to ‘Fighting Status Inequalities’. I first note a niggle about the paper’s assumption that lowering socio-economic inequalities will lower the social gradient in health. I then suggest two further ways in which neorepublicanism may relate to social epidemiology: in terms of ‘moral physiology’ and through analysing which inequalities are unjust.
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  24.  16
    Supreme Emergencies, Epistemic Murkiness and Epistemic Transparency.Stephen David John - 2009 - Philosophy of Management 8 (2):3-12.
    Sometimes, states face emergencies: situations where many individuals face an imminent threat of serious harm. Some believe that in such cases certain sorts of actions which are normally morally prohibited might be permissible. In this paper, I discuss this view as it applies in both the contexts of war and of public health policy. I suggest that the deontologist can best understand emergencies by analogy with the distinction between act- and rule consequentialism. In real world cases, we must often make (...)
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  25.  3
    Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bioethics.Stephen John - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):177-184.
  26. Erratum To: The Example of the IPCC Does Not Vindicate the Value Free Ideal: A Reply to Gregor Betz.Stephen John - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (2):259-259.
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  27. Is There an Obligation to Participate in Medical Research?Stephen John - 2009 - In Oonagh Corrigan, John McMillan, Kathleen Liddell, Martin Richards & Charles Weijer (eds.), The Limits of Consent: A Socio-Ethical Approach to Human Subject Research in Medicine. Oxford University Press.
     
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  28. Titanic Ethics, Pirate Ethics, Bioethics: Bioethics Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., & Jeffrey Paul (Eds.); Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York & Melbourne, 2002, Pp. Xvii+ 396, Price£ 15.95 Paperback, ISBN 0-521-52526-8. [REVIEW]Stephen John - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (1):177-184.
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