A project funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation (Workshops Grants Scheme)
Main team: Carlo Martini, Frank Zenker, Rani Lill Anjum.
The Trinity of Policy-Making: Evidence, Causation and Argumentation
The goal of this project is to explore the notion of evidence in relation to its subjective components, expertise and argumentation, from an interdisciplinary perspective. A series of workshops will invite both scientists with philosophical interests as well as philosophers of science with an interest in evidence-based policy making, which will bring together different perspectives, both theoretical and practical, to explore the notion of evidence as a three place relation. The research questions addressed in the course of this workshop-series are:
- Under what conditions can the evidential relation best be thought of as a two-place relation, and when must it be conceived of as a three-place relation that also includes the arguments which connect evidence with the claims thus supported?
- What is the exact role of expertise and argumentative reasoning for the evidential relation; e.g., can arguments be in any sense constitutive also of evidence itself, rather than only “channeling” the evidence onto the claim?
- Which notions of causality are normally presupposed in the contexts where evidence-based policy is conceived and deployed, and how do they affect the pragmatic aspects of explanation and the type of evidence generated by our research methods?
- Which conception of the evidential relation is most fruitful for science as well as for evidence- based policy-making outside philosophical domains; e.g., in political science, economics, medical sciences and policy studies?