PHIL 12 Lecture 12: Animal Testing and Argument by Analogy

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Kerry Mc Kenzie

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PHIL 12 Lecture 12 Animal Testing and Argument by Analogy Last Time New drugs required to demonstrate safety and efficacy through randomized controlled trial o Evidencebased medicine Causal Relationships: what causes what Mills method of difference connects with concept of cause as differencemaker Mills method allows us to tentatively infer cause of observed decrease in X Randomization allows us to go beyond correlation and identify the cause Inductive generalization must be used to infer that the general population will receive the same effect The strength of the inference depends on the representativeness of the sample tested in, and difficulties that can be involved in obtaining the sample Interpreting Effects in the Placebo Group Drug must be tested against placebo o Placebo: sugar pill; looks in all other respects like the treatment that the treatment group is receiving o Want to make sure that the treatment and control group are treated in the exact same way except for the thing being tested, so that you can properly say that the thing was the cause of the effects Mere effect of medical intervention can change peoples symptoms Ex: differentcolored antidepressants are differently effective Ex: brandname medications tend to work better than nonbranded ones Ex: injected saline is more effective than sugar pills in pain relief Ex: people with pacemakers installed but not turned on do better than before Exam Question Describe systematically how we could ascertain whether a relatively expensive alternative medicine, such as a blend of rare herbs acquired from a specialist, was causally effective as a treatment of anxiety in women, and identify the advantages of this method over a rival method. Argument by Analogy (Analogical Argument) Before drug gets as far as person trials, preclinical testing is undertaken o Trials involve testing on animals Using the results of animal testing to determine the safety of drugs on humans constitutes an argument by analogy Argument by analogy is everywhere Some Familiar Arguments
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