by Maritza Ilich Mauseth
This is a discussion of an article by J.C. Crabbe, D. Wahlsten and B.C. Dudek on the ‘Genetics of Mouse Behavior: Interactions with Laboratory Environment‘, Science, 284, 1670-1672, 1999. It is written for the course PHI302 Causation in Science at Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Mauseth is a Master student in Ecology at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, with 170 credits in biology and an additional 15 (soon 20) credits in Philosophy. I asked her for permission to include the discussion in my blog as an example of how philosophical reflections about causation in science can be done in practice. Continue reading
Struggle to keep updated on the latest philosophy papers in your research area? Despair no longer! Andrea Raimondi has developed a resource called The Philosophy Paperboy. This is a webpage that ‘publishes the latest contents from philosophy journals around the world’ and it is super easy to search for keywords. I tested it with a quick search for ‘causation’ and then ‘risk’, and I found several papers that would be useful for what I am currently working on. So give it a go and send a grateful thought to Andrea and web- & graphic designer Lorenzo Cataldi, who have spent their time making philosophy research easier for the rest of us.
Need scientists worry about philosophy? Or should philosophers get off their backs and let them do their work in peace? Unsurprisingly, many scientists want to stay clear of philosophical discussions. What is more disturbing is when I hear philosophers themselves announce that our discipline has nothing useful to offer science. In my view, they could not be more wrong.
In a recent paper published in European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, I argue that the choice between EBM and person centered healthcare is a choice between conflicting ontologies, involving two very different notions of causation. While the methodology and practice of EBM seems perfectly supported by positivism and a Humean theory of causation, person centered healthcare does not. There is, however, a trend called the EBM Renaissance Movement, attempting to make EBM more person centered. In the CauseHealth project, we urge that person centered healthcare and practice requires a very different ontology and methodology from the positivist scientific ideal inspired by David Hume. Continue reading
In the beginning of March, Stephen Mumford presented our paper ‘Emergence and Demergence’ at the Causal Powers and Social Science Conference 2016 at Yale University, organised by Philip Gorski (Yale) and Ruth Groff (St. Louis). Since the paper has already provoked a discussion, we thought it best to publish the presentation here. These ideas are still in its early stages and will be developed in more detail in an article. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback. Continue reading
In a Philosophy Bites episode, John Worrall is interviewed about how trustworthy the experiments on which evidence-based medicine rests. Specifically, he discusses how suitable randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are for establishing causation. Continue reading