Meta-Research Evidence for Evaluating Therapies

Philosophy of Science 85 (5):767-780 (2018)
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The new field of meta-research investigates industry bias, publication bias, contradictions between studies, and other trends in medical research. I argue that its findings should be used as meta-evidence for evaluating therapies. ‘Meta-evidence’ is evidence about the support that direct ‘first-order evidence’ provides the hypothesis. I consider three objections to my proposal: the irrelevance objection, the screening-off objection, and the underdetermination objection. I argue that meta-research evidence works by rationally revising our confidence in first-order evidence and, consequently, in the hypothesis—typically, downward.
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Archival date: 2018-12-19
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