Dear All,

Our next philosophy seminar is Tuesday September 27th

This is a special joint Philosophy and CAVE seminar presented by Professor 
Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide).

It will be a 90 minute session 1:00pm - 2:30pm.

Attend in-person at 25C Wally's Walk, Room C326.

Or on zoom:<>
    Password: seminar

Professor Rachel Ankeny (University of Adelaide)

Title : Defending Medical Cases as Abduction

Abstract: Despite having a somewhat dubious reputation as a form of anecdotal 
evidence, case reports remain exceedingly popular forms of communication and 
publication in medicine. They are ill-understood even within biomedical 
research communities, and often are described as not counting as real evidence 
or even as simply being equivalent to anecdotes. This paper begins by 
introducing the case report and its typical uses in the context of research in 
contemporary medicine, and exploring their status as a form of evidence 
particularly in our current era which is dominated by so-called ‘evidence-based 
medicine’ (EBM). I then flip the usual process on its head and instead of 
outlining how cases fall short of these ideals, instead I investigate what 
cases are good for how they are used, and what it means to use them ‘well,’ 
including what epistemic resources need to be in place, and what they are best 
viewed as being good for. I contend that instead of viewing medical cases as 
failed examples of weaker forms of reasoning, particularly induction, the form 
of logical inference that underlies medical cases is more closely related to 
abductive reasoning of the type espoused by the American philosopher C.S. 
Peirce in his later views. These arguments provide important considerations not 
just for those interested in medical cases or philosophy of medicine, but more 
generally for those seeking to provide more complex accounts of various fields 
of science in practice.

Bio: Rachel A. Ankeny is Professor of History and Philosophy at the University 
of Adelaide, where her research fields include history/philosophy of biomedical 
and biological sciences, bioethics, science policy, and food studies. She also 
is an Honorary Visiting Professor in the College of Social Science and 
International Studies (Philosophy) at the University of Exeter (UK). The paper 
to be presented is part of a book manuscript in progress entitled In Defense of 
Medical Cases.

Find details of upcoming seminars on our department website:

For any queries relating to Macquarie Philosophy work-in-progress seminars 
please contact<> 


Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE)
Department of Philosophy
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
CAVE website:<><>

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