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Presentation: Jodi Schneider and Sally Jackson, “Innovations in Reasoning About Health: The Case of the Randomized Clinical Trial.” 9th International Conference on Argumentation, International Society for the Society of Argumentation, Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 5, 2018
Abstract: Field-dependence in argumentation comes about through forms of inference invented by specialized fields. In recent work we introduced the concept of a "warranting device": (1) an inference license (2) invented for a specialized argumentative purpose and (3) backed by institutional, procedural, and material assurances of the dependability of conclusions generated by the device. Once established, fields employ such devices across many situations without further defense, even as the devices develop in response to newly-noticed problems.
Many new warranting devices have appeared over the past century to solve problems in reasoning about health and medicine, replacing and obsolescing earlier forms of medical reasoning. One such device is the Randomized Controlled Trial. This case study traces its historical evolution and discusses some current movements toward competing device types.