•  5
    Pharmacovigilance as Personalized Evidence
    In Chiara Beneduce & Marta Bertolaso (eds.), Personalized Medicine in the Making, Springer. forthcoming.
    Personalized medicine relies on two points: 1) causal knowledge about the possible effects of X in a given statistical population; 2) assignment of the given individual to a suitable reference class. Regarding point 1, standard approaches to causal inference are generally considered to be characterized by a trade-off between how confidently one can establish causality in any given study (internal validity) and extrapolating such knowledge to specific target groups (external validity). Regarding …Read more
  •  10
    Varieties of Error and Varieties of Evidence in Scientific Inference
    with Juergen Landes
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
  •  12
    In this study we analyze a recent controversy within the biomedical world, concerning the evaluation of safety of certain vaccines. This specific struggle took place among experts: the Danish epidemiologist Peter Gøtzsche on one side and a respected scientific institution, the Cochrane, on the other. However, given its relevance, the consequences of such a conflict invest a much larger spectrum of actors, last but not least the public itself. Our work is aimed at dissecting a specific aspect hap…Read more
  •  118
    De Pulchritudine non est Disputandum? A cross‐cultural investigation of the alleged intersubjective validity of aesthetic judgment
    with Florian Cova, Christopher Y. Olivola, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, David Rose, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Vilius Dranseika, Ángeles E. Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Minwoo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Jorge Ornelas, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro V. del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Mind and Language 34 (3): 317-338. 2019.
    Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment.…Read more
  •  71
    For Whom Does Determinism Undermine Moral Responsibility? Surveying the Conditions for Free Will Across Cultures
    with Ivar R. Hannikainen, Edouard Machery, David Rose, Stephen Stich, Christopher Y. Olivola, Paulo Sousa, Florian Cova, Emma E. Buchtel, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniûnas, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Vilius Dranseika, Ángeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Minwoo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Jorge Ornelas, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas López, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez del Mercado, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Frontiers in Psychology 10. 2019.
    Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and…Read more
  •  13
    Background. Evidence suggesting adverse drug reactions often emerges unsystematically and unpredictably in form of anecdotal reports, case series and survey data. Safety trials and observational studies also provide crucial information regarding the safety of drugs. Hence, integrating multiple types of pharmacovigilance evidence is key to minimising the risks of harm. Methods. In previous work, we began the development of a Bayesian framework for aggregating multiple types of evidence to assess …Read more
  •  12
    On the Assessed Strength of Agents’ Bias
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (4): 525-549. 2020.
    Recent work in social epistemology has shown that, in certain situations, less communication leads to better outcomes for epistemic groups. In this paper, we show that, ceteris paribus, a Bayesian agent may believe less strongly that a single agent is biased than that an entire group of independent agents is biased. We explain this initially surprising result and show that it is in fact a consequence one may conceive on the basis of commonsense reasoning.
  •  1749
    The Ship of Theseus Puzzle
    with David Rose, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Florian Cova, Vilius Dranseika, Angeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Min-Woo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Alejandro Rosas, Carlos Romero, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez Del Vázquez Del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 3. forthcoming.
    Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-t…Read more
  •  16
    Epistemology of causal inference in pharmacology: Towards a framework for the assessment of harms
    with Juergen Landes and Roland Poellinger
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1): 3-49. 2018.
    Philosophical discussions on causal inference in medicine are stuck in dyadic camps, each defending one kind of evidence or method rather than another as best support for causal hypotheses. Whereas Evidence Based Medicine advocates the use of Randomised Controlled Trials and systematic reviews of RCTs as gold standard, philosophers of science emphasise the importance of mechanisms and their distinctive informational contribution to causal inference and assessment. Some have suggested the adoptio…Read more
  •  17
    Real and Virtual Clinical Trials: A Formal Analysis
    with Marta Bertolaso, Roland Poellinger, and Emanuele Frontoni
    Topoi 38 (2): 411-422. 2018.
    If well-designed, the results of a Randomised Clinical Trial can justify a causal claim between treatment and effect in the study population; however, additional information might be needed to carry over this result to another population. RCTs have been criticized exactly on grounds of failing to provide this sort of information Evidence, inference and enquiry. Oxford University Press, New York, 2011), as well as to black-box important details regarding the mechanisms underpinning the causal law…Read more
  •  52
    Behavioral Circumscription and the Folk Psychology of Belief: A Study in Ethno-Mentalizing
    with David Rose, Machery Edouard, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Angelucci Adriano, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In‐Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Cova Florian, Vilius Dranseika, Eraña Lagos Ángeles, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Kim Hackjin, Kim Yeonjeong, Lee Minwoo, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Moruzzi Sebastiano, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas, Sangoi Massimo, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, del Mercado Alejandro Vázquez, Giorgio Volpe, A. Vosgerichian Hrag, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (3): 193-203. 2017.
    Is behavioral integration a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from over 5,000 people across 26 samples, spanning 22 countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we argue that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely asserts that p, nonlinguistic behavioral evidence is disregard…Read more
  •  11
    The paper addresses charges of risk and loss aversion as well as of irrationality directed against the precautionary principle, by providing an epistemic analysis of its specific role in the safety law system. In particular, I contend that: 1) risk aversion is not a form of irrational or biased behaviour; 2) both risk and loss aversion regard the form of the utility function, whereas PP rather regards the information on which to base the decision; 3) thus PP has formally nothing to do with risk …Read more
  •  5
    Package leaflets belong to the complex communication system related to the minimization and prevention of pharmaceutical risk. Their legal nature is not exhausted by safety regulation though: as a privileged form of product instruction, they are also subject to liability regulation with a consequent reallocation of damage responsibility through risk disclosure. This article presents the results of a doctoral dissertation devoted to the legal and communicative analysis of PL information. After il…Read more
  •  7
    Risk Information Processing and Rational Ignoring in the Health Context
    Journal of Socio-Economics 41 169-179. 2012.
    Findings about the desire for health-risk information are heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory. In particular, they seem to be at variance with established psychological theories of information-seeking behavior.The present paper posits the decision about treating illness with medicine as the causal determinant for the expected net value of information, and attempts to explain idiosyncrasies in information-seeking behavior by using the notion of decision sensitivity to incoming information.F…Read more
  •  8
    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to suggest a definition of genetic information by taking into account the debate surrounding it. Particularly, the objections raised by Developmental Systems Theory to Teleosemantic endorsements of the notion of genetic information as well as deflationist approaches which suggest to ascribe the notion of genetic information a heuristic value at most, and to reduce it to that of causality. Design/methodology/approach The paper presents the notion of genetic in…Read more
  •  27
    The paper addresses charges of risk and loss aversion as well as of irrationality directed against the precautionary principle (PP), by providing an epistemic analysis of its specific role in the safety law system. In particular, I contend that: 1) risk aversion is not a form of irrational or biased behaviour; 2) both risk and loss aversion regard the form of the utility function, whereas PP rather regards the information on which to base the decision; 3) thus PP has formally nothing to do with …Read more
  •  36
    Until RCT proven? On the asymmetry of evidence requirements for risk assessment
    Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (3): 454-462. 2013.
    The problem of collecting, analyzing and evaluating evidence on adverse drug reactions (ADRs) is an example of the more general class of epistemological problems related to scientific inference and prediction, as well as a central problem of the health-care practice. Philosophical discussions have critically analysed the methodological pitfalls and epistemological implications of evidence assessment in medicine, however they have mainly focused on evidence of treatment efficacy. Most of this wor…Read more
  •  48
    Philosophical discussions have critically analysed the methodological pitfalls and epistemological implications of evidence assessment in medicine, however they have mainly focused on evidence of treatment efficacy. Most of this work is devoted to statistical methods of causal inference with a special attention to the privileged role assigned to randomized controlled trials in evidence based medicine. Regardless of whether the RCT’s privilege holds for efficacy assessment, it is nevertheless imp…Read more
  •  326
    Medical diagnosis has been traditionally recognized as a privileged field of application for so called probabilistic induction. Consequently, the Bayesian theorem, which mathematically formalizes this form of inference, has been seen as the most adequate tool for quantifying the uncertainty surrounding the diagnosis by providing probabilities of different diagnostic hypotheses, given symptomatic or laboratory data. On the other side, it has also been remarked that differential diagnosis rather w…Read more
  •  27
    A current trend in bioethics considers genetic information as family property. This paper uses a logical approach to critically examine Matthew Liao’s proposal on the familial nature of genetic information as grounds for the duty to share it with relatives and for breach of confidentiality by the geneticist. The authors expand on the topic by examining the relationship between the arguments of probability and the familial nature of genetic information, as well as the concept of harm in the conte…Read more
  •  69
    The paper considers the legal tools that have been developed in German pharmaceutical regulation as a result of the precautionary attitude inaugurated by the Contergan decision. These tools are the notion of “well-founded suspicion”, which attenuates the requirements for safety intervention by relaxing the requirement of a proved causal connection between danger and source, and the introduction of the reversal of proof burden in liability norms. The paper focuses on the first and proposes seeing…Read more
  •  579
    Risk communication has been generally categorized as a warning act, which is performed in order to prevent or minimize risk. On the other side, risk analysis has also underscored the role played by information in reducing uncertainty about risk. In both approaches the safety aspects related to the protection of the right to health are on focus. However, it seems that there are cases where a risk cannot possibly be avoided or uncertainty reduced, this is for instance valid for the declaration of …Read more