Inquiry and Evidence: From the Experimenter's Regress to Evidence-Based Policy


In the first part of this paper, I will sketch the main features of traditional models of evidence, indicating idealizations in such models that I regard as doing more harm than good. I will then proceed to elaborate on an alternative model of evidence that is functionalist, complex, dynamic, and contextual, which I will call DYNAMIC EVIDENTIAL FUNCTIONALISM. I will demonstrate its application to an illuminating example of scientific inquiry, and defend it from some likely objections. In the second part, I will use that alternative to solve a variety of classic and contemporary problems in the literature on scientific evidence having to do with the empirical basis of science and the use of evidence in public policy.



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Matthew J. Brown
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

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A new direction for science and values.Daniel J. Hicks - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3271-95.

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