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How Philosophers of Science Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis

van Basshuysen, Philippe and White, Lucie (2021) How Philosophers of Science Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Were governments justified in imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? We argue that a convincing answer to this question is to date wanting, by critically analyzing the factual basis of a recent paper, “How Government Leaders Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis” (Winsberg et al. 2020). In their paper, Winsberg et al. argue that government leaders did not, at the beginning of the pandemic, meet the epistemic requirements necessitated to impose lockdowns. We focus on Winsberg et al.’s contentions that knowledge about COVID-19 resultant projections were inadequate; that epidemiologists were biased in their estimates of relevant figures; that there was insufficient evidence supporting the efficacy of lockdowns; and that lockdowns cause more harm than good. We argue that none of these claims are sufficiently supported by evidence, thus impairing their case against lockdowns, and leaving open the question of whether lockdowns were justified.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
van Basshuysen, Philippep.c.van-basshuysen@lse.ac.uk0000-0003-1947-9309
White, Lucielucie.white@philos.uni-hannover.de0000-0001-8292-3789
Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, philosophy of science, evidence, experts
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Mr. Philippe van Basshuysen
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2021 03:15
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2021 03:15
Item ID: 18584
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: 8 January 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18584

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