What’s Going to Happen to Me? Prognosis in the Face of Uncertainty

Topoi 40 (2):319-326 (2019)
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Reasoning in medicine requires the critical use of a clinical methodology whose validity must be evaluated as well as its limits. In the last decade, an increasing amount of evidence has shown severe limitations and flaws in the conduct of prognostic studies. The main reason behind this fact is that prognostic judgments are at high risk of error. In this paper we investigate the pragmatic and illocutionary aspects of different forms of linguistic acts and judgments involved in clinical practice. More specifically, we analyze the role of uncertainty with regard to ‘particular’ clinical judgments and its relation with ‘general’ evidence. Focusing on how prognostic judgments are formulated and justified, our main purpose is to highlight the explication, the structure and the limits of prognosis from a linguistic and epistemological perspective.



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Daniele Chiffi
Politecnico di Milano

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How to do things with words.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. Edited by Marina Sbisá & J. O. Urmson.
Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.John Rogers Searle - 1969 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Speech Acts.J. Searle - 1969 - Foundations of Language 11 (3):433-446.

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