Reflecting on what philosophy of epidemiology is and does, as the field comes into its own: Introduction to the Special Issue on Philosophy of Epidemiology
Synthese 198 (Suppl 10):2383-2392 (2019)
AbstractThis article is an introduction to the Synthese Special Issue, Philosophy of Epidemiology. The overall goals of the issue are to revisit the state of philosophy of epidemiology and to provide a forum for new voices, approaches, and perspectives in the philosophy of epidemiology literature. The introduction begins by drawing on Geoffrey Rose’s work on how to conceptualize and design interventions for populations, rather than individuals. It then goes on to highlight some themes that emerged in the articles that make up the issue: philosophy of epidemiology and epidemiological theory—what they are and what they ought to be, pluralism in measurement and causal attribution, epistemic and non-epistemic values in disputes epidemiological practices, decentering philosophy of epidemiology’s Eurocentrism, letting pragmatism guide uses of big data in epidemiology, and revisiting the lessons of classic texts in epidemiological causal inference. The introduction concludes with comments on a philosophy of epidemiology debate we see on, regarding the politics of philosophy of epidemiology.
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