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Exploring Inductive Risk


Case Studies of Values in Science

Edited by Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards

27 July 2017

ISBN: 9780190467722

312 pages

In Stock

Price: £37.49


This book brings together eleven case studies of inductive risk-the chance that scientific inference is incorrect-that range over a wide variety of scientific contexts and fields. The chapters are designed to illustrate the pervasiveness of inductive risk, assist scientists and policymakers in responding to it, and productively move theoretical discussions of the topic forward.

  • The first book devoted specifically to examining inductive risk in a variety of scientific fields
  • Relevant for courses in multiple subject areas: history, philosophy, and sociology of science; science policy; research ethics; science and technology studies
  • Examines case studies from many different areas of research, including the drug approval process, high energy particle physics, dual-use research, climate science, research on gender disparities, clinical trials, and toxicology
  • Of interest not only to philosophers of science but also to practicing scientists and policy makers

About the Author(s)

Edited by Kevin C. Elliott, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, and Ted Richards, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

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.

Table of Contents

    Foreword, Heather Douglas
    Introduction, Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards
    Part I: Weighing Inductive Risk
    Drug Regulation and the Inductive Risk Calculus
    Jacob Stegenga
    Decisions, Decisions: Inductive Risk and the Higgs Boson
    Kent W. Staley
    Part II: Evading Inductive Risk
    Dual Use Research and Inductive Risk
    David B. Resnik
    Making Uncertanties Explicit: The Jefferyan Value-Free Ideal and Its Limits
    David M. Frank
    Inductive Risk, Deferred Decisions, and Climate Science Advising
    Matthew J. Brown and Joyce C. Havstad
    Part III: The Breadth of Inductive Risk
    Measuring Inequality: The Roles of Values and Inductive Risk
    Robin Andreasen and Heather Doty
    Safe or Sorry? Cancer Screening and Inductive Risk
    Anya Plutynski
    Inductive Risk and Values in Composite Outcome Measures
    Roger Stanev
    Inductive Risk and the Role of Values in Clinical Trials
    Robyn Bluhm
    Part IV: Exploring the Limits of Inductive Risk
    The Geography of Epistemic Risk
    Justin B. Biddle and Rebecca Kukla
    The Inductive Risk of “Demasculinization”
    Jack Powers
    Exploring Inductive Risk: Future Questions, Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards


"provides an excellent snapshot of current thinking about inductive risk in philosophy of science." - Zina B. Ward, Journal of Moral Philosophy

"this collection will provide a valuable point of departure for many future debates in the philosophy of cognitive science, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get involved in these debates" - Joe Dewhurst, University of Edinburgh, BJPS Review of books

"During the last two decades, the various challenges of inductive risk have been addressed by a number of philosophers of science in diverse contexts. Thus, it is fortuitous that there is now a volume available providing an overview of the status of the discussion as well as addressing hitherto unanswered questions. It provides useful reading material to classroom teachers who address all sorts of topics on science and values." - Anna Leuschner and Anke Bueter, Science & Education

"I think the individual chapters in this volume provide a set of interesting and important case studies of non-epistemic values in science. Scientists or philosophers looking for such case studies or for a general understanding of the roles that values can play in scientific practice can benefit from reading any of the chapters in this volume. Philosophers working specifically on inductive risk and the role of values in science, though, will benefit from considering the volume as a whole. What it implicitly shows, and what Biddle and Kukla explicitly argue, is that philosophers of science talking about inductive risk have not, to this point, had a clear idea of precisely what inductive risk is. This volume can, I think, help to start that conversation." - S. Andrew Schroeder, Metascience