Political interests configure the stories we tell with data. Closing the gap in attainment between disadvantaged students and their advantaged contemporaries is pivotal to an agenda to use education as a positive social force. But both the measurement and representation of this gap is politicised, skewed and open to manipulation. This paper shows how two organisations with inverse aims represent—and misrepresent—their measure of the attainment gap to portray diametric trajectories in the pursuit of equal attainment.
Pressure mounts upon equalities minister Kemi Badenoch to resign over the UK government’s failure to ban conversion therapies. Attention has focused on the government’s failure to publish research commissioned in 2018. But evidence about whether conversion therapy works is irrelevant: conversion therapy is not a medical intervention.
What does Google have in common with Barbra Streisand? Since Google fired AI ethicists Margaret Mitchell and Timnit Gebru, our attention should turn to what they don’t want us to read: “On Stochastic Parrots”. Will the attempts to suppress this paper lead to it being overlooked, or will Google face Barbra Streisand’s fate?
A new version of WritePhilosophy.com is launching today. WritePhilosophy is a resource for students and teachers of philosophy, built on guides, articles and quizzes which help to immerse students in the concepts, language and principles of philosophical writing.
Do medical scientists need philosophers of medicine like birds need ornithologists? A quotation often attributed to Richard Feynman claims that “philosophy of science is as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds”. Feynman, never the intellectual slouch, acutely discounts the value of philosophy of science to him, without actually claiming that philosophers are useless, valueless, …
The database of evidence hierarchies has been updated based on a new systematic review of the medical literature, and now contains over 195 hierarchies.
This series of philosophical papers unpacks six philosophical issues in diagnostics and develops a pluralistic model of diagnosis. This paper analyses the role of causal relevance in diagnostics. Are diagnoses defined by their causal relevance to symptoms?
In the five years since the publication of Hierarchies of Evidence in Evidence-Based Medicine, what has changed and what lessons can philosophers learn?
This series of philosophical papers unpacks six philosophical issues in diagnostics and develops a pluralistic model of diagnosis. This paper presents a set of minimal constraints which any theory of diagnostics must satisfy based on pathognomy and sine qua non relationships.
I recently used the massive AI language model GPT-2 to create some humorous mock-Socratic dialogues. I’ve talked previously about the use of AI to generate philosophy. In the past, I’ve advised interested folks who don’t have the technical know-how to experiment with an open language model like GPT-2 to use …