Maria Cristina Amoretti, Elisabetta Lalumera

Evidence, values, rationality: Three examples of Covid-science

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Covid-science, evidence, rationality, values

The so-called Covid-science – the research, especially the biomedical research on the biological, clinical, epidemiological, pharmacological, and psycho-sociological aspects of Covid-19 - can be considered an important case study for the philosophy of science and the philosophy of medicine. In this contribution, we briefly illustrate three cases of Covid-science in which we have identified and discussed the role of values, particularly non-epistemic values: the definition of death caused by Covid-19, the choice of parameters in epidemiological models, with particular attention to the “magicµ reproduction number R, and the issue of the communicative failure of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The purpose of this analysis is to show that admitting that biomedical science includes non-epistemic elements is not to deny or diminish its objectivity. Rather, detecting the role of values in specific contexts allows them to be subjected to public discussion and thus, prospectively, allows for providing shared reasons for them

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