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Mechanistic reasoning and the problem of masking

Wilde, Michael Edward (2021) Mechanistic reasoning and the problem of masking. Synthese, . ISSN 0039-7857. (doi:10.1007/s11229-021-03062-2) (KAR id:86769)

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Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03062-2

Abstract

At least historically, it was common for medical practitioners to believe causal hypotheses on the basis of standalone mechanistic reasoning. However, it is now widely acknowledged that standalone mechanistic reasoning is insufficient for appropriately believing a causal hypothesis in medicine, thanks in part to the so-called problem of masking. But standalone mechanistic reasoning is not the only type of mechanistic reasoning. When exactly then is it appropriate to believe a causal

hypothesis on the basis of mechanistic reasoning? In this paper, I argue that it has proved difficult to provide a satisfying answer to this question. I also argue that this difficulty is predicted by recent work in knowledge-first epistemology. I think this shows that recent work in epistemology has important implications for practice in the philosophy of science. It is therefore worth paying closer attention in the philosophy of science to this recent work in knowledge-first epistemology.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11229-021-03062-2
Uncontrolled keywords: Mechanistic reasoning, The problem of masking, Knowledge-first epistemology,The philosophy of science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Michael Wilde
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2021 13:30 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 13:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/86769 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wilde, Michael Edward: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2216-0115
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