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Topoi Special Issue: “Foundations of Clinical Reasoning: An Epistemological Stance”

Call For Papers
Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy
Special Issue: “Foundations of Clinical Reasoning: An Epistemological Stance”

Guest Editors:
Mattia Andreoletti (Campus IFOM-IEO, Milan)
Paola Berchialla (University of Turin)
Giovanni Boniolo (University of Ferrara)
Daniele Chiffi (Tallinn University of Technology)
Overview:
Among the most discussed epistemological issues in clinical reasoning is the problem of the external validity. Considered as one of the most urgent, this problem arises from the fact that the results of the Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are seldom applied to the whole reference population, which is identified with people needing a medical treatment.

Once verified that the results of an RCT are valid, we still have to explain how to apply these results to patients who did not take part in the experiment. As a matter of fact, several individuals who present particular features are excluded from the groups of patients selected for the experiment. Therefore, how can we justify the belief that a certain treatment has the same effect when applied to a different setting? Without a reasonable answer to this latter question, RCTs would prove less helpful, as they would only show the results related to a particular situation, without any guarantee that the same results could apply to other contexts. The possible advantages of a Bayesian perspective on RCTs will be explored.

Finally, even if a way to apply population-based knowledge to a specific case is acknowledged, in order to choose a suitable treatment for a patient, diagnostic and prognostic judgements are traditionally essential. Both diagnosis and prognosis always occur behind a veil of uncertainty, nonetheless they seem to convey different forms of uncertainty. The concept of diagnosis is, in fact, usually affected by the inductive risk of error, while prognosis seems more likely to be associated with fundamental uncertainty towards a future condition, which may be difficult to probabilistically compute.

Possible Topics include (but are not limited to):
– Logic and Epistemology of Clinical Reasoning
– External validity of RCTs
– Bayesian Forms of Clinical Reasoning
– Diagnosis and inductive risk of error
– Prognosis and severe uncertainty

Invited Contributors:
Ileana Baldi (University of Padua)
Margherita Benzi (University of Eastern Piedmont)
Pierdaniele Giaretta (University of Padua)
Sydney Katherine Green (University of Antwerp)
François Pellet (University of Münster)
Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen (Tallinn University of Technology)
Federica Russo (ILLC/University of Amsterdam)
Donald Stanley (Maine Medical Center, Portland Maine)

Submission guidelines:
Contributions must be original and not submitted elsewhere. Papers must be in English and should not exceed 8,000 words (references and footnotes included). Each submission should also include a separate title page containing contact details, a brief abstract and a list of keywords for indexing purposes. All papers will be subject to double-blind peer-review, following international standard practices. Manuscripts should be submitted exclusively through the Online Manuscript Submission System (Editorial Manager), accessible at http://www.editorialmanager.com/topo/. Please save your manuscript in one of the formats supported by the system (e.g., Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT, LATEX2e, TEX, Postscript, etc.), which does NOT include PDF. Make sure to select the appropriate article type for your submission by selecting: S.I. Foundations clinical reasoning (Andreoletti/Berchialla/Boniolo/Chiffi) as the appropriate tab from the scroll-down menu.

Deadline for submissions: August 31, 2017
For any further information please contact:
Mattia Andreoletti (mattia.andreoletti@ieo.eu); Paola Berchialla (paola.berchialla@unito.it); Giovanni Boniolo (giovanni.boniolo@unife.it); Daniele Chiffi (chiffidaniele@gmail.com)

Mechanisms in medicine

Mechanisms in medicine
July 3-5 2017
Centre for Reasoning, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Mechanisms in medicine

Keynote speakers
Raffaela Campaner (University of Bologna)
Daniel Commenges (Bordeaux Population Health Research Center)
Jeremy Howick (Oxford University)
Stathis Psillos (University of Athens)
Daniel Steel (The University of British Columbia)
Kurt Straif (International Agency for Research on Cancer)
John Worrall (LSE)

Background
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is a relatively recent technique for supporting clinical decisions by the current best evidence. While it is uncontroversial that we should use the current best evidence in clinical decision making, it is highly controversial what the best evidence is. EBM considers evidence from clinical trials, in particular, randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of those trials to be the best evidence. On the other hand, evidence of mechanisms that is obtained by means other than clinical trials is considered to be of low quality.
However, there is a growing body of literature that highlights the many benefits of considering evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence from clinical trials. For instance, evidence of mechanisms is crucial for interpreting clinical trials, establishing a causal claim, and extrapolating from the trial population to the treatment population.
This conference seeks to explore whether and in which ways evidence of mechanism may improve medical decision making. The conference will bring together philosophers and medical researchers.

Call for papers
Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words on or before 1st February 2017 via email to c.wallmann-520@kent.ac.uk. The final decision on submissions will be made by 1st March. A special session will be dedicated to contributions submitted by PhD candidates.
Contributions should address questions such as the following:
– How can we get evidence of mechanisms in medicine?
– How can evidence of mechanisms best be considered alongside evidence of correlation to evaluate causal claims in medical research and health policy?
– How can quality of evidence of mechanisms be characterised?
– Which accounts of causality best fit the programme for integrating evidence of mechanisms with evidence of correlation?
– How can evidence of mechanisms be employed in extrapolation?
– How can evidence of mechanisms inform statistical and graphical models in medicine?

Registration
Registration is free but compulsory. There are a limited number of places so please register early. Please register via email to c.wallmann-520@kent.ac.uk

Organisation
This conference is organised by Christian Wallmann on behalf of the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent and the EBM+ consortium. It is an activity of the project Evaluating evidence in medicine, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.
For any queries please contact Christian Wallmann: c.wallmann-520@kent.ac.uk

Philosophy & Medicine Symposium: Self-Knowledge In and Out of Illness

The newly launched interdisciplinary journal Palgrave Communications will publish a special issue based on the symposium. The content of the publication will not be limited to the content of the symposium, but is open to all. We therefore warmly invite all researchers working on the topic of the symposium to submit their articles to be considered for publication in this special issue. Please, see the official Call for Papers for further information:

http://www.palgrave-journals.com/palcomms/authors/call-for-papers#Self-knowledge