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
On Friends, Rachel becomes pregnant with Ross in spite of using a condom. It comes as a shock to all when they hear that condoms are only 97 percent effective. Or, as Rachel puts it, condoms only work 97 percent of the time. But what does this really mean? Continue reading
There is a philosophical problem within medicine: how to deal with causal complexity and variations. While existing methods are designed for large scale population data and sufficiently homogenous sub-groups, a number of medical conditions are characterised by their heterogenic and complex nature: low back pain (LBP), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), tension-type headache (TTH), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many others. Continue reading