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Inductive Risk and Regulatory Toxicology: A Comment on de Melo-Martín and Intemann

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


Inmaculada de Melo-Martín and Kristen Intemann consider whether, from the perspective of the argument from inductive risk, ethical and political values might be logically, epistemically, pragmatically, or ethically necessary in the “core” of scientific reasoning. In each case, they argue that there are significant conceptual problems. In this comment, employing regulatory uses of high-throughput toxicology at the US Environmental Protection Agency as a case study, I respond to some of their claims about the notion of “pragmatic necessity.” I conclude that, while an inductive risk framework has some significant limitations, it is still conceptually and rhetorically valuable.

Discussion Note
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Thanks to Heather Douglas, Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Kristen Intemann, and two anonymous reviewers for feedback on previous versions of this comment. This comment would not have been possible without the opportunity to spend a year as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow hosted at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Chemical Safety for Sustainability Program. All views and opinions stated in this comment are those of the author and do not reflect the views of AAAS, EPA, or any other entity or organization.


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