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Daniel Steel [81]Daniel Patrick Steel [1]
  1.  31
    Philosophy and the Precautionary Principle: Science, Evidence, and Environmental Policy.Daniel Steel - 2015 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Scholars in philosophy, law, economics and other fields have widely debated how science, environmental precaution, and economic interests should be balanced in urgent contemporary problems, such as climate change. One controversial focus of these discussions is the precautionary principle, according to which scientific uncertainty should not be a reason for delay in the face of serious threats to the environment or health. While the precautionary principle has been very influential, no generally accepted definition of it exists and critics charge that (...)
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  2. Across the boundaries: extrapolation in biology and social science.Daniel Steel (ed.) - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Inferences like these are known as extrapolations.
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  3. Epistemic values and the argument from inductive risk.Daniel Steel - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (1):14-34.
    Critics of the ideal of value‐free science often assume that they must reject the distinction between epistemic and nonepistemic values. I argue that this assumption is mistaken and that the distinction can be used to clarify and defend the argument from inductive risk, which challenges the value‐free ideal. I develop the idea that the characteristic feature of epistemic values is that they promote, either intrinsically or extrinsically, the attainment of truths. This proposal is shown to answer common objections to the (...)
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  4. Diversity, Trust, and Conformity: A Simulation Study.Sina Fazelpour & Daniel Steel - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):209-231.
    Previous simulation models have found positive effects of cognitive diversity on group performance, but have not explored effects of diversity in demographics (e.g., gender, ethnicity). In this paper, we present an agent-based model that captures two empirically supported hypotheses about how demographic diversity can improve group performance. The results of our simulations suggest that, even when social identities are not associated with distinctive task-related cognitive resources, demographic diversity can, in certain circumstances, benefit collective performance by counteracting two types of conformity (...)
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  5.  36
    Current Controversies in Values and Science.Kevin Christopher Elliott & Daniel Steel (eds.) - 2016 - New York: Routledge.
    _Current Controversies in Values and Science_ asks ten philosophers to debate five questions that are driving contemporary work in this important area of philosophy of science. The book is perfect for the advanced student, building up her knowledge of the foundations of the field while also engaging its most cutting-edge questions. Introductions and annotated bibliographies for each debate, preliminary descriptions of each chapter, study questions, and a supplemental guide to further controversies involving values in science help provide clearer and richer (...)
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  6.  50
    Information elaboration and epistemic effects of diversity.Daniel Steel, Sina Fazelpour, Bianca Crewe & Kinley Gillette - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1287-1307.
    We suggest that philosophical accounts of epistemic effects of diversity have given insufficient attention to the relationship between demographic diversity and information elaboration, the process whereby knowledge dispersed in a group is elicited and examined. We propose an analysis of IE that clarifies hypotheses proposed in the empirical literature and their relationship to philosophical accounts of diversity effects. Philosophical accounts have largely overlooked the possibility that demographic diversity may improve group performance by enhancing IE, and sometimes fail to explore the (...)
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  7. Environmental Justice, Values, and Scientific Expertise.Daniel Steel & Kyle Powys Whyte - 2012 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 22 (2):163-182.
    This essay compares two philosophical proposals concerning the relation between values and science, both of which reject the value-free ideal but nevertheless place restrictions on how values and science should interact. The first of these proposals relies on a distinction between the direct and indirect roles of values, while the second emphasizes instead a distinction between epistemic and nonepistemic values. We consider these two proposals in connection with a case study of disputed research on the topic of environmental justice and (...)
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  8. Climate change and the threat to civilization.Daniel Steel, C. Tyler DesRoches & Kian Mintz-Woo - 2022 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 42 (119):e2210525119.
    Despite recognizing many adverse impacts, the climate science literature has had little to say about the conditions under which climate change might threaten civilization. Discussions of the mechanisms whereby climate change might cause the collapse of current civilizations has mostly been the province of journalists, philosophers, and novelists. We propose that this situation should change. In this opinion piece, we call for treating the mechanisms and uncertainties associated with climate collapse as a critically important topic for scientific inquiry. Doing so (...)
     
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  9. Climate Change and Second-Order Uncertainty: Defending a Generalized, Normative, and Structural Argument from Inductive Risk.Daniel Steel - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (6):696-721.
    This article critically examines a recent philosophical debate on the role of values in climate change forecasts, such as those found in assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. On one side, several philosophers insist that the argument from inductive risk, as developed by Rudner and Douglas among others, applies to this case. AIR aims to show that ethical value judgments should influence decisions about what is sufficient evidence for accepting scientific hypotheses that have implications for policy issues. (...)
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  10. Scientists’ attitudes on science and values: Case studies and survey methods in philosophy of science.Daniel Steel, Chad Gonnerman & Michael O'Rourke - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:22-30.
    This article examines the relevance of survey data of scientists’ attitudes about science and values to case studies in philosophy of science. We describe two methodological challenges confronting such case studies: 1) small samples, and 2) potential for bias in selection, emphasis, and interpretation. Examples are given to illustrate that these challenges can arise for case studies in the science and values literature. We propose that these challenges can be mitigated through an approach in which case studies and survey methods (...)
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  11. Indeterminism and the causal Markov condition.Daniel Steel - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (1):3-26.
    The causal Markov condition (CMC) plays an important role in much recent work on the problem of causal inference from statistical data. It is commonly thought that the CMC is a more problematic assumption for genuinely indeterministic systems than for deterministic ones. In this essay, I critically examine this proposition. I show how the usual motivation for the CMC—that it is true of any acyclic, deterministic causal system in which the exogenous variables are independent—can be extended to the indeterministic case. (...)
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  12.  96
    Acceptance, values, and probability.Daniel Steel - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:81-88.
  13. Social mechanisms and causal inference.Daniel Steel - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.
    Several authors have claimed that mechanisms play a vital role in distinguishing between causation and mere correlation in the social sciences. Such claims are sometimes interpreted to mean that without mechanisms, causal inference in social science is impossible. The author agrees with critics of this proposition but explains how the account of how mechanisms aid causal inference can be interpreted in a way that does not depend on it. Nevertheless, he shows that this more charitable version of the account is (...)
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  14. Acceptance, Values, and Inductive Risk.Daniel Steel - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):818-828.
    The argument from inductive risk attempts to show that practical and ethical costs of errors should influence standards of evidence for accepting scientific claims. A common objection charges that this argument presupposes a behavioral theory of acceptance that is inappropriate for science. I respond by showing that the argument from inductive risk is supported by a nonbehavioral theory of acceptance developed by Cohen, which defines acceptance in terms of premising. Moreover, I argue that theories designed to explain how acceptance can (...)
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  15.  92
    Our Life Depends on This Drug: Competence, Inequity, and Voluntary Consent in Clinical Trials on Supervised Injectable Opioid Assisted Treatment.Daniel Steel, Kirsten Marchand & Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (12):32-40.
    Supervised injectable opioid assisted treament prescribes injectable opioids to individuals for whom other forms of addiction treatment have been ineffective. In this article, we examine arguments that opioid-dependent people should be assumed incompetent to voluntarily consent to clinical research on siOAT unless proven otherwise. We agree that concerns about competence and voluntary consent deserve careful attention in this context. But we oppose framing the issue solely as a matter of the competence of opioid-dependent people and emphasize that it should be (...)
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  16. A Forward-Looking Approach to Climate Change and the Risk of Societal Collapse.Daniel Steel, Charly Phillips, Amanda Giang & Kian Mintz-Woo - 2024 - Futures 158:103361.
    Highlights: -/- • -/- Proposes forward-looking approach to studying climate collapse risks. • -/- Suggests diminishing returns on climate adaptation as a collapse mechanism. • -/- Suggests strategies for sustainable adaptation pathways in face of climate change. • -/- Illustrates analysis with examples of small island states and global food security. -/- Abstract: -/- This article proposes a forward-looking approach to studying societal collapse risks related to climate change. Such an approach should indicate how to study emerging collapse risks and (...)
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  17. A New Approach to Argument by Analogy: Extrapolation and Chain Graphs.Daniel Steel & S. Kedzie Hall - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1058-1069.
    In order to make scientific results relevant to practical decision making, it is often necessary to transfer a result obtained in one set of circumstances—an animal model, a computer simulation, an economic experiment—to another that may differ in relevant respects—for example, to humans, the global climate, or an auction. Such inferences, which we can call extrapolations, are a type of argument by analogy. This essay sketches a new approach to analogical inference that utilizes chain graphs, which resemble directed acyclic graphs (...)
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  18.  91
    Can a reductionist be a pluralist?Daniel Steel - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):55-73.
    Pluralism is often put forth as a counter-position to reductionism. In this essay, I argue that reductionism and pluralism are in fact consistent. I propose that there are several potential goals for reductions and that the proper form of a reduction should be considered in tandem with the goal that it aims to achieve. This insight provides a basis for clarifying what version of reductionism are currently defended, for explicating the notion of a fundamental level of explanation, and for showing (...)
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  19.  73
    Multiple diversity concepts and their ethical-epistemic implications.Daniel Steel, Sina Fazelpour, Kinley Gillette, Bianca Crewe & Michael Burgess - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):761-780.
    A concept of diversity is an understanding of what makes a group diverse that may be applicable in a variety of contexts. We distinguish three diversity concepts, show that each can be found in discussions of diversity in science, and explain how they tend to be associated with distinct epistemic and ethical rationales. Yet philosophical literature on diversity among scientists has given little attention to distinct concepts of diversity. This is significant because the unappreciated existence of multiple diversity concepts can (...)
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  20.  28
    Accepting an Epistemically Inferior Alternative? A Comment on Elliott and McKaughan.Daniel Steel - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (4):606-612.
    Kevin Elliott and Dan McKaughan argue that, in some cases, nonepistemic values provide legitimate reasons for scientists to accept an epistemically inferior option, a claim that they support with two case studies. This essay argues that Elliott and McKaughan have not shown that their case studies are indeed ones in which an epistemically inferior option was accepted. Specifically, their interpretation of these cases depends on problematic premises that it is epistemically better to wait for a slower-but-more-reliable method than to accept (...)
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  21.  62
    If the Facts Were Not Untruths, Their Implications Were: Sponsorship Bias and Misleading Communication.Daniel Steel - 2018 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 28 (2):119-144.
    The whole drug industry campaign for mood drugs in the 1950s was to broaden to absurd limits the definition of illness.... If the facts in these ads were not untruths, then their implications often were.1Sponsorship bias occurs when a funder of scientific research has a vested interest in what claims the research supports, which consequently shapes the research or the reporting of its results to align with that interest. This article examines the relationship between sponsorship bias and misleading claims, understood (...)
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  22. Collapse, Social Tipping Dynamics, and Framing Climate Change.Daniel Steel, Kian Mintz-Woo & C. Tyler DesRoches - forthcoming - Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
    In this article, we claim that recent developments in climate science and renewable energy should prompt a reframing of debates surrounding climate change mitigation. Taken together, we argue that these developments suggest (1) global climate collapse in this century is a non-negligible risk, (2) mitigation offers substantial benefits to current generations, and (3) mitigation by some can generate social tipping dynamics that could ultimately make renewables cheaper than fossil fuels. We explain how these claims undermine familiar framings of climate change, (...)
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  23. What If the Principle of Induction Is Normative? Formal Learning Theory and Hume’s Problem.Daniel Steel & S. Kedzie Hall - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):171-185.
    This article argues that a successful answer to Hume's problem of induction can be developed from a sub-genre of philosophy of science known as formal learning theory. One of the central concepts of formal learning theory is logical reliability: roughly, a method is logically reliable when it is assured of eventually settling on the truth for every sequence of data that is possible given what we know. I show that the principle of induction (PI) is necessary and sufficient for logical (...)
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  24.  72
    The Precautionary Principle and the Dilemma Objection.Daniel Steel - 2013 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (3):321-340.
    The dilemma objection charges that ‘weak’ versions of the precautionary principle (PP) are vacuous while ‘strong’ ones are incoherent. I respond that the ‘weak’ versus ‘strong’ distinction is misleading and should be replaced with a contrast between PP as a meta-rule and PP proper. Meta versions of PP require that the decision-making procedures used for environmental policy not be susceptible to paralysis by scientific uncertainty. Such claims are substantive because they often recommend against basing environmental policy decisions on cost–benefit analysis. (...)
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  25.  56
    A bayesian way to make stopping rules matter.Daniel Steel - 2003 - Erkenntnis 58 (2):213--227.
    Disputes between advocates of Bayesians and more orthodox approaches to statistical inference presuppose that Bayesians must regard must regard stopping rules, which play an important role in orthodox statistical methods, as evidentially irrelevant.In this essay, I show that this is not the case and that the stopping rule is evidentially relevant given some Bayesian confirmation measures that have been seriously proposed. However, I show that accepting a confirmation measure of this sort comes at the cost of rejecting two useful ancillaryBayesian (...)
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  26. Bayesian Confirmation Theory and The Likelihood Principle.Daniel Steel - 2007 - Synthese 156 (1):53-77.
    The likelihood principle (LP) is a core issue in disagreements between Bayesian and frequentist statistical theories. Yet statements of the LP are often ambiguous, while arguments for why a Bayesian must accept it rely upon unexamined implicit premises. I distinguish two propositions associated with the LP, which I label LP1 and LP2. I maintain that there is a compelling Bayesian argument for LP1, based upon strict conditionalization, standard Bayesian decision theory, and a proposition I call the practical relevance principle. In (...)
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  27. Wishful Thinking and Values in Science.Daniel Steel - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):895-905.
    This article examines the concept of wishful thinking in philosophical literature on science and values. It suggests that this term tends to be used in an overly broad manner that fails to distinguish between separate types of bias, mechanisms that generate biases, and general theories that might explain those mechanisms. I explain how confirmation bias is distinct from wishful thinking and why it is more useful for examining the relationship between cognitive bias and beliefs about the existence of injustices.
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  28.  38
    A Closer Look at the Business Case for Diversity: The Tangled Web of Equity and Epistemic Benefits.Daniel Steel & Naseeb Bolduc - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (5):418-443.
    This article examines the business case for diversity, according to which diversity should be promoted because diverse groups outperform nondiverse groups. Philosophers who defend BCD usually...
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  29. Comment on Hausman & Woodward on the causal Markov condition.Daniel Steel - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):219-231.
    Woodward present an argument for the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) on the basis of a principle they dub ‘modularity’ ([1999, 2004]). I show that the conclusion of their argument is not in fact the CMC but a substantially weaker proposition. In addition, I show that their argument is invalid and trace this invalidity to two features of modularity, namely, that it is stated in terms of pairwise independence and ‘arrow-breaking’ interventions. Hausman & Woodward's argument can be rendered valid through a (...)
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  30. Methodological individualism, explanation, and invariance.Daniel Steel - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (4):440-463.
    This article examines methodological individualism in terms of the theory that invariance under intervention is the signal feature of generalizations that serve as a basis for causal explanation. This theory supports the holist contention that macro-level generalizations can explain, but it also suggests a defense of methodological individualism on the grounds that greater range of invariance under intervention entails deeper explanation. Although this individualist position is not threatened by multiple-realizability, an argument for it based on rational choice theory is called (...)
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  31.  53
    Gender and Scientists’ Views about the Value-Free Ideal.Daniel Steel, Chad Gonnerman, Aaron M. McCright & Itai Bavli - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (6):619-657.
    A small but growing body of philosophically informed survey work calls into question whether the value-free ideal is a dominant viewpoint among scientists. However, the survey instruments in used in these studies have important limitations. Previous work has also made little headway in developing hypotheses that might predict or explain differing views about the value-free ideal among scientists. In this article, we review previous survey work on this topic, describe an improved survey instrument, report results from an initial administration of (...)
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  32.  64
    Making Time Stand Still: A Response to Sober’s Counter-Example to the Principle of the Common Cause.Daniel Steel - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):309-317.
    In a recent article, Elliot Sober responds to challenges to a counter-example that he posed some years earlier to the Principle of the Common Cause (PCC). I agree that Sober has indeed produced a genuine counter-example to the PCC, but argue against the methodological moral that Sober wishes to draw from it. Contrary to Sober, I argue that the possibility of exceptions to the PCC does not undermine its status as a central assumption for methods that endeavor to draw causal (...)
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  33.  53
    Homogeneity, selection, and the faithfulness condition.Daniel Steel - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (3):303-317.
    The faithfulness condition (FC) is a useful principle for inferring causal structure from statistical data. The usual motivation for the FC appeals to theorems showing that exceptions to it have probability zero, provided that some apparently reasonable assumptions obtain. However, some have objected that, the theorems notwithstanding, exceptions to the FC are probable in commonly occurring circumstances. I argue that exceptions to the FC are probable in the circumstances specified by this objection only given the presence of a condition that (...)
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  34.  9
    Evidence-based Medicine and Mechanistic Evidence: The Case of the Failed Rollout of Efavirenz in Zimbabwe.Andrew Park, Daniel Steel & Elicia Maine - 2023 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 48 (4):348-358.
    Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has long deemphasized mechanistic reasoning and pathophysiological rationale in assessing the effectiveness of interventions. The EBM+ movement has challenged this stance, arguing that evidence of mechanisms and comparative studies should both be seen as necessary and complementary. Advocates of EBM+ provide a combination of theoretical arguments and examples of mechanistic reasoning in medical research. However, EBM+ proponents have not provided recent examples of how downplaying mechanistic reasoning resulted in worse medical results than would have occurred otherwise. Such (...)
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  35.  26
    Extrapolation, uncertainty factors, and the precautionary principle.Daniel Steel - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (3):356-364.
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  36.  41
    Adjusting Inferential Thresholds to Reflect Nonepistemic Values.Kim Kaivanto & Daniel Steel - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (2):255-285.
    Many philosophers have challenged the ideal of value-free science on the grounds that social or moral values are relevant to inferential thresholds. But given this view, how precisely and to what extent should scientists adjust their inferential thresholds in light of nonepistemic values? We suggest that signal detection theory provides a useful framework for addressing this question. Moreover, this approach opens up further avenues for philosophical inquiry and has important implications for philosophical debates concerning inductive risk. For example, the signal (...)
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  37.  76
    Extrapolation, uncertainty factors, and the precautionary principle.Daniel Steel - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (3):356-364.
    This essay examines the relationship between the precautionary principle and uncertainty factors used by toxicologists to estimate acceptable exposure levels for toxic chemicals from animal experiments. It shows that the adoption of uncertainty factors in the United States in the 1950s can be understood by reference to the precautionary principle, but not by cost-benefit analysis because of a lack of relevant quantitative data at that time. In addition, it argues that uncertainty factors continue to be relevant to efforts to implement (...)
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  38.  27
    Humanistic Values and the Values of Humanities in Interdisciplinary Research.Brian Robinson, Stephanie Vasko, Chad Gonnerman, Markus Christen, Michael O'Rourke & Daniel Steel - 2016 - Cogent Arts and Humanities 3:1123080.
    Research integrating the perspectives of different disciplines, or interdisciplinary research, has become increasingly common in academia and is considered important for its ability to address complex questions and problems. This mode of research aims to leverage differences among disciplines in generating a more complex understanding of the research landscape. To interact successfully with other disciplines, researchers must appreciate their differences, and this requires recognizing how the research landscape looks from the perspective of other disciplines. One central aspect of these disciplinary (...)
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  39. Cartwright on causality: Methods, metaphysics and modularity.Daniel Steel - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):77-86.
  40.  40
    Effective Climate Action Requires us to Abandon Viewing Our Efforts as a 'Sacrifice'.Daniel Steel, C. Tyler DesRoches & Kian Mintz-Woo - 2023 - The Conversation.
    [Newspaper opinion] If you’re like most people, you’ve been taught that climate action is a sacrifice. Cutting emissions from fossil fuels, you’ve probably been told, is the economy-squeezing price we must pay for a livable planet. But our research explains why we should look at this issue through a different frame. -/- Frames help us think about complex issues. They suggest starting assumptions, problems to be solved and point towards possible solutions. Sacrifice frames begin with the assumption that climate action (...)
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  41.  79
    The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton’s Material Theory of Induction.Daniel Steel - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):188-197.
    In a recent essay, John Norton proposes a material theory of induction, according to which all justification for inductive inference ultimately stems from the particular facts of the case at hand. Despite being sympathetic to the pluralistic spirit of this proposal, I argue that central controversies among leading theories of inductive inference turn not on material facts but upon normative judgments regarding the proper standards and aims of induction. Thus, a pluralistic approach to induction can be successfully developed only given (...)
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  42. What if the principle of induction is normative? Means-ends epistemology and Hume's problem.Daniel Steel - manuscript
    I develop a critique of Hume’s infamous problem of induction based upon the idea that the principle of induction (PI) is a normative rather than descriptive claim. I argue that Hume’s problem is a false dilemma, since the PI might be neither a “relation of ideas” nor a “matter of fact” but rather what I call a contingent normative statement. In this case, the PI could be justified by a means-ends argument in which the link between means and end is (...)
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  43.  64
    Testability and Ockham’s Razor: How Formal and Statistical Learning Theory Converge in the New Riddle of Induction.Daniel Steel - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (5):471-489.
    Nelson Goodman's new riddle of induction forcefully illustrates a challenge that must be confronted by any adequate theory of inductive inference: provide some basis for choosing among alternative hypotheses that fit past data but make divergent predictions. One response to this challenge is to distinguish among alternatives by means of some epistemically significant characteristic beyond fit with the data. Statistical learning theory takes this approach by showing how a concept similar to Popper's notion of degrees of testability is linked to (...)
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  44.  28
    Inductive Risk and OxyContin: The Ethics of Evidence and Post-Market Surveillance of Pharmaceuticals in Canada.Itai Bavli & Daniel Steel - 2020 - Public Health Ethics 13 (3):300-313.
    The argument from inductive risk claims that judgments about the moral severity of errors are relevant to decisions about what should count as sufficient evidence for accepting claims. While this idea has been explored in connection with evidence required for the approval of pharmaceuticals, the role of inductive risk in the post-approval process has been largely neglected. In this article, we examine the ethics of inductive risk in connection with revisions to the product monograph for OxyContin in Canada, which understates (...)
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  45. Precaution and Fairness: A Framework for Distributing Costs of Protection from Environmental Risks.Espen Dyrnes Stabell & Daniel Steel - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (1):55-71.
    While there is an extensive literature on how the precautionary principle should be interpreted and when precautions should be taken, relatively little discussion exists about the fair distribution of costs of taking precautions. We address this issue by proposing a general framework for deciding how costs of precautions should be shared, which consists of a series of default principles that are triggered according to desert, rights, and ability to pay. The framework is developed with close attention to the pragmatics of (...)
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  46.  37
    Causality, causal models, and social mechanisms.Daniel Steel - 2011 - In Ian Jarvie Jesus Zamora Bonilla (ed.), The Sage Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences. pp. 288.
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  47.  16
    Cartwright on Causality: Methods, Metaphysics and Modularity: Review Symposium.Daniel Steel - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):77-86.
  48.  54
    Mechanisms and Functional Hypotheses in Social Science.Daniel Steel - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):941-952.
    Critics of functional explanations in social science maintain that such explanations are illegitimate unless a mechanism is specified. Others argue that mechanisms are not necessary for causal inference and that functional explanations are a type of causal claim that raise no special difficulties for testing. I show that there is indeed a special problem that confronts testing functional explanations resulting from their connection to second-order causal claims. I explain how mechanisms can resolve this difficulty, but argue that this does not (...)
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  49.  45
    The Precautionary Principle Meets the Hill Criteria of Causation.Daniel Steel & Jessica Yu - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):72-89.
    This article examines the relationship between the precautionary principle and the well-known Hill criteria of causation. Some have charged that the Hill criteria are anti-precautionary because the...
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  50.  26
    Climate Precaution and Producer versus Consumer Dependence on Fossil Fuels.Daniel Steel, Paul Bartha & Rachel Cripps - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy and Environment.
    This article explores the consequences of falling costs of solar and wind power for the ethics of climate change mitigation. We suggest that price competitiveness of renewables reveals a divergence of interest between fossil fuel consumers and producers: cheap renewables strengthen precautionary arguments for aggressive mitigation for consumers but threaten the economic base of producers. As existing applications of the precautionary principle to climate change do not address this issue, we develop a novel approach based on lexical utilities. Given the (...)
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