Download Reasoning and Public Health: New Ways of Coping with by Louise Cummings PDF

By Louise Cummings

This e-book argues that during order to be actually powerful, public overall healthiness needs to embody a gaggle of reasoning techniques that experience often been characterised as casual fallacies. will probably be confirmed that those techniques can facilitate decisions approximately complicated public future health concerns in contexts of uncertainty.

The publication explains how scientists and lay humans many times hotel to using those options in the course of attention of public illnesses. even if those techniques should not deductively legitimate, they're however rationally warranted techniques. Public overall healthiness execs should have a legitimate realizing of those cognitive recommendations on the way to have interaction the general public and accomplish their public wellbeing and fitness goals.

The e-book attracts upon public overall healthiness concerns as large ranging as infectious illnesses, meals protection and the capability impression on human overall healthiness of recent applied sciences. It examines reasoning within the context of those matters inside a large-scale, questionnaire-based survey of approximately 900 individuals of the general public within the united kingdom. additionally, numerous philosophical subject matters run through the e-book, together with the character of uncertainty, medical wisdom and inquiry.

The complexity of many public illnesses calls for an method of reasoning that can't be accommodated satisfactorily inside of a normal considering abilities framework. This ebook exhibits that by means of constructing an understanding of those reasoning techniques, scientists and contributors of the general public could have a extra effective engagement with public healthiness problems.

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Additional resources for Reasoning and Public Health: New Ways of Coping with Uncertainty

Example text

When Brown et al. (1987) concluded that there was no evidence that scrapie is transmissible to humans on the basis of a 15-year epidemiological study of scrapie and CJD in humans, and a review of world literature, the level of rational warrant attending that presumption was consonant with the robustness of the investigations that had produced it. However, difficulties arise in public health when a presumption is called upon to have a level of rational warrant that exceeds its evidential base. The widespread view among scientists that BSE was bovine scrapie was based on a number of indirect lines of evidence, specifically an early epidemiological investigation conducted by the Central Veterinary Laboratory, and histopathological and molecular studies (Cummings 2010).

It is part of an older cognitive system which uses fast and frugal heuristics to achieve solutions to problems. Some of these heuristics involve jumping to conclusions, a cognitive strategy that can work well enough on some occasions but results in errors on other occasions. Walton demonstrates this heuristic view of the fallacies in relation to the argument from expert opinion (argumentum ad verecundiam). The parascheme of this argument omits assumptions, exceptions and one ordinary premise that are integral to the corresponding argumentation scheme.

The action-oriented nature of presumption has special relevance in public health. Where a public health problem is particularly pressing, actions must be taken in advance of full deliberation and investigation of the issue in question. For example, an inquiry into an emerging infectious disease will need to consider the nature and origin of the pathogen, its incubation period, routes of transmission, and much else besides. But alongside or even before these important questions have been answered is the need to put into place disease containment measures.

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