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Eur J Epidemiol ; 2020 Nov 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33247797


Risk prediction is one of the central goals of medicine. However, ultimate prediction-perfectly predicting whether individuals will actually get a disease-is still out of reach for virtually all conditions. One crucial assumption of ultimate personalized prediction is that individual risks in the relevant sense exist. In the present paper we argue that perfect prediction at the individual level will fail-and we will do so by providing pragmatic, epistemic, conceptual, and ontological arguments.

Eur J Philos Sci ; 8(3): 671-687, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30956736


Humeans take reality to be devoid of 'necessary connections': things just happen. Laws of nature are to be understood in terms of what 'just happens', not vice versa. Here the Humean needs some conception of what it is that 'just happens' - a conception of the Humean mosaic. Lewis's Humeanism incorporates such a conception in the form of a Lewis-style metaphysics of objects, properties, and modality. Newer versions of Humeanism about laws of nature, such as the Better Best Systems approach (BBS), typically reject such a Lewisian metaphysics, but it remains unclear what they can offer in its place. By exploring different candidate conceptions, this paper sheds light on the limits of Humeanism about laws of nature: not all conceptions of the Humean mosaic form a suitable basis for a Humean theory of laws. In fact, only a metaphysics roughly in line with Lewis's will do. The paper ends with a tentative generalization of this result, thus pointing to the 'limit' of Humeanism in general: taking the Humean way of thinking to its limit results in a rejection of the whole idea of such a mosaic - and hence of Humean mosaic-based accounts of anything.