Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science

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Kevin Christopher Elliott, Ted Richards
Oxford University Press, 2017 - Philosophy - 290 pages
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Science is the most reliable means available for understanding the world around us and our place in it. But, since science draws conclusions based on limited empirical evidence, there is always a chance that a scientific inference will be incorrect. That chance, known as inductive risk, is
endemic to science.

Though inductive risk has always been present in scientific practice, the role of values in responding to it has only recently gained extensive attention from philosophers, scientists, and policy-makers. Exploring Inductive Risk brings together a set of eleven concrete case studies with the goals of
illustrating the pervasiveness of inductive risk, assisting scientists and policymakers in responding to it, and moving theoretical discussions of this phenomenon forward. The case studies range over a wide variety of scientific contexts, including the drug approval process, high energy particle
physics, dual-use research, climate science, research on gender disparities in employment, clinical trials, and toxicology.

The book includes an introductory chapter that provides a conceptual introduction to the topic and a historical overview of the argument that values have an important role to play in responding to inductive risk, as well as a concluding chapter that synthesizes important themes from the book and
maps out issues in need of further consideration.

 

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Contents

An Introduction
1
Weighing Inductive Risk
15
Evading Inductive Risk
57
The Breadth of Inductive Risk
125
Exploring the Limits of Inductive Risk
213
Index
279
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About the author (2017)


Kevin C. Elliott is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. His publications include Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in
Environmental Research (Oxford University Press, 2011) and A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Ted Richards is the editor of Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game (Open Court, 2010). He teaches Philosophy at Michigan State University.

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